They weren’t headline items, but the city council approved two steps Thursday night that could make Murfreesboro more attractive to quality development.

The first action was to hire an Alabama law firm with extensive experience in financing devices for redevelopment projects. The second was to engage a planning firm to help develop citywide architectural standards for new development. To read this story, click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-oF

Here are other stories we are featuring

The effort to protect Murfreesboro’s fabled Black Cat cave got a boost Wednesday (Sept. 16) when the city’s planning commissioners approved transferring 2.4 acres around the cave to MTSU, which plans to study the cave as well as safeguard it.

The commissioners also approved site plans for a new Kroger store along Mercury and Middle Tennessee Boulevards and for a warehouse development on Joe B. Jackson Parkway. Click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-oo  for this story.

  • The city’s planning consultant previewed his latest chapter on land use and character to a citizen task force and to the planning commission on Sept. 2. On the following evening, he made a similar presentation to the city council.  Click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-mp for this story.
  • Residents lose battle over density issue for development along Compton Road. Click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-md for this story.
  • Chicken Little, our ace reporter, spent last night in Franklin. In his view, that town is what Murfreesboro should be but won’t be unless the city council shows more imagination. You can read his opinion piece by clicking: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-lH
  • I don’t know what was on TV last night (Aug. 27), but if you weren’t at council you missed as good a drama as I have ever seen at city hall. The debate was over something that seemed minor — whether to extend a contract to manage the city’s traffic signal cameras for roughly another 100 days.

On one side was Glenn Chrisman, the police chief. On the other was Councilman Eddie Smotherman. The councilman lost the vote, but the verbal slugging in this fight fan’s view was a draw. To sit in on this verbal duel, click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-l8

  • We take a look at the Murfreesboro 2035 plan’s outlook for the city’s park system needs now and 20 years from now. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-kz
  • Our top reporter, Chicken Little, is worrying about a potential brain drain the city faces.You can read his report in the next column or simply by clicking: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-k8

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  • In an afternoon meeting Wednesday (Aug. 19),  the city’s planning commissioners cleared site plans in various stages for a new Honda dealership in the city’s Gateway District,  two banks there and an assisted living facility.

The Honda project will either need a change in the plan or a variance to move ahead, however. To view this story, click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-ji

  • Meanwhile, we examine the educational component of the city’s planning study for the next 20 years. To read this story, click  http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-iK
  • Moving from the sublime to the mundane, we also look at Murfreesboro 2035 study on trash. It’s reaching for the sky. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-iq

Elsewhere:

  • We examine how North Carolina’s famed Research Triangle Park is trying to reinvent itself. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-ia
  •  The bird gets a dose of reality when he finally gets around to the feasibility of creating an innovation district here. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-hR
  • The council promised to protect homeowners living near Joe B. Jackson after giving away the store with a heavy industrial rezoning. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-fM
  • We visited the business park in Smyrna, but it is too early in its development to say it could be a model for Smyrna. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-eE

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  • Here are some of older items in the report:

@ A comprehensive or general plan with the force of law might be a good idea. Right now the city is using a plan from the 1980s that is advisory only. To read Chicken Little’s thoughts on this weighty matter, click http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-9V

@ The bird explodes the freeloader myth that people who live outside the city limits are using city services without paying for them. And, if it chose to, the city could impose non-resident fees for many services, like the library and recreation programs. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-9e

@ Was the circle half empty or half full? At the July 9th council meeting, a consultant put up a satellite map and drew circles to claim hardly anyone lives close to the rezoning site. We report actual distances from the parcel to various neighborhoods. And for kicks, we threw in the distance to the rezoning applicant’s home. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-7N

@ Murfreesboro placed dead last among the state’s 20 most populous cities when it comes to protecting homeowners from the impacts of heavy industry. How do we know? We sent the bird out on an exhaustive survey. Click: http://wp.me/p5ZA8p-6m

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@ You can make comments at the bottom of each article when you call it up. I will transfer them to the Community Forum page where they are easier to find. Join the conversation. To go to the Community Forum, click: http://wp.me/P5ZA8p-7h

I have started a neighborhood chat room on a website called “Next Door.” You set the boundaries for your neighborhood and invite people living in it to join. You have to live in the neighborhood to become a sponsor. If anyone wants to start one in his or her neighborhood, I will help out.

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