Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Petition Seeks Referendum To Overturn Council Vote

There’s an effort underway that’s seeking to overturn a rezoning approved by the Cookeville City Council earlier this this year.

A Cookeville resident has submitted a petition to the Putnam County Election Commission that requests a referendum to overturn the ordinance that rezoned 11-acres of property on West 9th Street and North Franklin Avenue. The rezoning allows for the development of a 160-unit apartment complex to move forward.

The election commission met today, but chose to take no action on the petition due to some issues involving the number of signatures needed in order for the referendum to be placed on the August election ballot. Election Administrator Debbie Stiedle said state law differs from the city’s charter on how many signatures are needed for the referendum to move forward.

State law would require the petition to be signed by 15-percent of the registered voters in the city of Cookeville. The city charter requires the petition to be signed by 25-percent of voters in the last municipal election.

There are 15,467 registered voters in the city and 5,357 people voted in the last municipal election.

The election commission is seeking advice from its lawyer on how to move forward, but the state has advised the commission to observe state law in determining the number of signatures needed.

The Putnam County Election Commission has plans to meet again to discuss the petition on March 9th at 8:30 a.m.