By Bill Short
The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously declared a parcel of land as surplus property and transferred it to the Industrial Development Board.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Thomas McGhee and seconded by Alderman Al Bell.
A resolution making the declaration and transfer states that, in 1964, the city acquired approximately 27 acres on South Navy Circle at the southern end of Mud Flats that is commonly known as Centennial Park.
Although the property includes an old pavilion, a paved parking lot and a small “memorial” area that was designated during Millington’s centennial celebration, it is otherwise undeveloped.
The resolution states that the park has “only limited use,” but it requires “extensive manpower” on a weekly basis to keep the grass cut.
The IDB is in the process of selling all the undeveloped land between the park and Navy Road to a developer and wants to include the park property in the sale.
The resolution authorizes Mayor Terry Jones to “quit-claim” the property to the IDB.
During the construction phase, the developer will install a publicly accessible “dog park” on part of the property.
City Finance Director John Trusty said that, if the developer considers it “more advantageous” to move the current centennial monument area to the front on Navy Road, the resolution authorizes it.
“But it would have to be moved to look exactly like it does now and to maintain everything that is there,” he noted. “That will be a condition that’s handled along with the dog park as it comes back to the planning commission for approval.”
At its Feb. 22 meeting, the Millington Planning Commission unanimously recommended a zoning change for construction of a Planned Residential Development to be located northeast of Centennial Park.
A request was submitted to re-zone the area from M-P, Planned Industrial, to R-4, High-Density Residential.
Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, noted that the property will be limited to development of townhouses.
He said that, when the city’s 20-year Master Plan was approved in 2018, all that property, including the Centennial Park area, was zoned commercial.
“It didn’t make a lot of sense,” he acknowledged. “But they didn’t know what they wanted to do with this property at the time.”
Goforth recalled that the city spent approximately $3.5 million purchasing the property and another $500,000 clearing the buildings off of it. Then, it was given to the IDB, which is currently selling the property to the proposed developers.
He said the developers are proposing to use existing streets on the property and to construct two additional “small sections” of streets. Although the townhouses will “front” on the streets, he noted that all the access will come from alleys in the back.
Goforth said each of the lots will be 20 feet wide and have a 20-foot front yard, with no side yards where the townhouses are attached. Each lot will also have a garage and a parking area behind it.
He said the townhouses will be restricted to “owner-occupied,” have at least 1,600 square feet and cost approximately $200,000.