GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Nearly 18 months ago, Germantown put a moratorium on building new apartments, so they could research how apartments affected the city in terms of crime, the economy and the city as a whole.
Now, the results are in, and they are conclusive: Safety and crime were very similar to single family homes, and the city’s infrastructure is capable of taking on the extra development and residents.
"At the end of the day, we have this amazing tool that we can work with because we know statistically what the impact is going to be in all of these areas,” City Administrator Patrick Lawton said.
Regularly tabbed as one of the best places to live in Tennessee, Germantown residents want to keep it that way — that’s why city staff explored exactly how more apartments for rent would impact the area.
"It will allow our board to make good decisions but more importantly future boards, to be able to use some of those ratios now, and it will be a living breathing document,” Germantown Alderman Mary Anne Gibson said.
It’s good news for a city that’s trying to progress.
"The only way that that can happen is through growth of some sort," Gibson said. "And so what that looks like for this next 10 years — that was the study’s time frame, for the next 10 years — it’s important for us to have this document.”
Leaders have heard from residents who are concerned about change, but now they can act with precision, aware of exactly how new complexes will tip the scales moving forward.
"My confidence level, our confidence level, is extremely high in the study," Lawton said. "The way it was prepared, the analytics, the regression models, everything we used, it’s all data driven. You can’t argue with data."
The city performed the study without an outside consultant. Officials estimate that they saved taxpayers more than $300,000.
-- By Peter Fleischer