Three Franklin residents want to use flooded properties bought by the city as bigger yards and for gardens.
The city bought the three properties, on Young, King and South streets, as part of a federally funded flood buyout after the homes on the properties were damaged in the 2008 flood.
The city will own the properties, but the Franklin Board of Public Works has agreed to let residents who live next to the properties grow gardens and use the property, as long as they keep them maintained.
In exchange, residents are being asked to mow the properties and remove any trash.
The agreement will save money for the city, which won’t pay to maintain the properties, and will allow the residents to use the land as an extra yard or garden area.
The residents cannot use the properties until they fill out applications that say what they want to do with the land and the applications are approved by the Board of Public Works, board member Steve Barnett said.
The residents will be limited on what they can do with the land because the city bought the properties with money it received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Barnett said. Federal regulations say no one can build any permanent structures or parking spaces on properties bought with FEMA money.
The regulations also say that if the city or residents wants to garden on the properties, they cannot put up any fences and have to keep a five-foot grass strip at the perimeter of the property.
The Board of Public Works will take applications to use the land yearly, Barnett said.
Residents who want to use the land have to live next to the properties and cannot break the federal restrictions, he said. The board can end the agreement if the residents don’t follow the federal rules, he added.