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Apartment Moratorium

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About the Moratorium

apartment moratorium presentationOn January 8, 2018, the Germantown, Tennessee Board of Mayor and Alderman instituted an 18-month moratorium on apartment and apartment building developments within the city, temporarily halting both the acceptance of new applications and the processing of applications for apartment and apartment building development in the Smart Code Zoning Districts.  Per the resolution, the moratorium did not apply to multi-family applications in Smart Code Zoning Districts with approval at any stage of the City’s development process. As a result, the resolution specifically excluded four developments, known as Thornwood, Watermark, Viridian, and Carter, from the moratorium. 

As stated in the Resolution, the purpose of the temporary moratorium was “to allow the City an opportunity to study, research, analyze and/or access the likely impacts and nature of any future apartment and apartment building development in the Smart Code Zoning Districts, including without limitation and as the City deems appropriate, development and demographic trends, aesthetic qualities, burdens upon and access to City services, resources, schools, infrastructure, utilities, parks, public areas/facilities, and emergency and police services, traffic congestion, public safety, and neighborhood characteristics.”  The moratorium was initiated out of local public concern that “comparatively dense developments, such as apartments and apartment buildings, could result in disproportionate impacts on City resources and services (including water, utility, and sewer demands, traffic impacts, schools, public safety demands, etc.) compared to other forms of residential development.“

Research was conducted by City staff which includes experts in planning, engineering, development, transportation and public safety. A number of data analysts who took part in this study are Memphis Lean Six Sigma Institute Certified Lean Six Sigma Black and Green Belts.

The presentation made to the BMA is available here or by clicking on the image above. 


apartment moratorium study results

The full report (available here) fulfills the basic purpose of the moratorium by studying, researching, and analyzing past experience in order to determine the likely impact future apartment and apartment building development within the Smart Code Zoning Districts will have on City services. The study is arranged into four key areas of concentration: 

  1. Infrastructure and Transportation Systems
  2. Public Safety: Fire and Emergency Medical Services
  3. Public Safety: Police
  4. Germantown Municipal School District

The findings of this report are based on research making use of all relevant and available data within each of the key areas of concentration. Although the stated, narrow purpose of the study was to research and analyze the likely impacts of apartments and apartment buildings on City services, the research team expanded the scope of work to present apartment development findings within the greater context of all dwelling categories and of a potential scenario for maximum city-wide residential build-out over the next ten years. By doing so, the City will have a better understanding of how City services may be impacted by all residential development decisions going forward, will be equipped with valuable information to aid in future development decision-making processes, and will be more effective in aligning today’s resources with the needs of tomorrow. 

For more information, contact City of Germantown Administration at (901) 757-7201.