February 2015 Commission Report

“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”  Judge Gideon John Tucker wrote this statement in the decision of a will case.  It is often attributed to Mark Twain as well.

Commission meeting canceled
The Blount County Commission meeting, along with several committee meetings, was canceled this month due to inclement weather.  The focus on safety this month has been, and still is, ensuring that people have the basic needs of life: food, clothing and shelter.  Hopefully you and your family are faring well through this winter weather.

No final decisions were made on public policy this month because the commission meeting was canceled.  The unfinished business will be conducted at the March commission meeting.

Recycling Committee
The agenda included the formation of an ad hoc committee to study recycling.  It creates three citizens seats.  If you are interested in being nominated to serve on a committee to study recycling, please contact your commissioners to express your desire to serve.

Information Technology Committee
The IT Committee meet on Monday to discuss updating the video technology in the commission room.  The matter was tabled because the Mayor said that there is a new employee in the Sheriff’s Department who may be able to provide insight to the matter and update the technology for substantially less money.

RAC2 Zoning
The only controversy this month surrounded a resolution that creates a new rural arterial commercial zone (RAC2).  Several years ago, the commission severely restricted commercial development in the rural areas of the county.  The county is growing, necessitating the need for commercial development.  The question is how to achieve responsible development.

Here’s some basic information about the commercial development regulations in the proposed RAC2 zone:

  • Development is limited to four roads: 411 North (Sevierville Road), Hwy 129 (Calderwood Highway), Hwy 72 and Hwy 321
  • Building size is limited to 10,000 square feet
  • Uses are limited  (see page 20)
  • There are no special exceptions
  • External lighting must be directed away from the right-of-way and land zoned residential
  • A noise mitigation barrier may be required as part of the site plan

I’ve read every letter and email sent to me on the subject.  If you tried calling and couldn’t reach me please know that I had very limited phone service for several days following the ice storm.

It’s been brought to my attention that the Planning Commission makes public input difficult by not having it as an agenda on the item.  I will work to correct that, making it easier for citizens to comment.

Bundle up and stay safe during this weather.  If you are feeling burdened from mother nature, you can enjoy the safety she provided you by prohibiting the legislative body of Blount County from meeting in regular session.

7 thoughts on “February 2015 Commission Report

  1. Re proposed RAC2 zone, please add the following:

    Every T-intersection and cross road is included in the proposed zone.
    Concerns expressed by approximately 20 people who spoke at the public hearing Feb. 10: commercial sprawl, increased vehicular congestion and accidents (e.g., lack of shoulders on 411N) on rural corridors; and desire of rural residents to continue to live in rural areas rather than have stores/lights/traffic/noise follow them.

    The proposed zone is too broad. It should be limited to intersections with major collector status roads.

  2. The RAC2 Zone should require a % area for green space and landscaping. This would soften the harsh apperance of the building and parking area.

  3. I would like to know why anyone in their right mind would want to make an
    RAC2 zone from Foot Hills Parkway to the Townsend city limits! That is a Beautiful Scenic Road with the Little River on one side and the Mountains on the other and lots of curves. Do you really want more accidents as people stop to go to a store or cut the Mountains and trees down to make way for another Pigeon Forge!

  4. Tona,
    I think it would be a good idea to let the voters and tax payers of Blount County know how much taxes the Board saved the taxpayer by not meeting and spending money for one month. unfortunately, I am confident that the spend and tax RINO Republican County Commissioners will make up for lost time by spending twice as much in March.

    However, I am serious when I suggest that if you have the time, estimate the total spending that the Board surely would have spent of the taxpayer’s money in February, and the interest on the debt for the money saved for one month. I think the taxpayers should know that their wallets are never safe when the Federal Congress, the State Legislature and our County Commissioners meet to find what new ways to spend and waste our family budget.

  5. Responsible development would require a business at their expense to improve the roads with right turn lanes, de-acceleration lanes, shoulders and traffic signals. Also after a business is opened and if it fails, the building razed, and the property in condition for new development at the owners expense. As for the growth of the county necessitating the need for commercial development, more dollar stores will not improve life as much as infrastructure improvement. Access to natural gas, improvement in the electrical grid, regulation of the price propane providers charge, may have saved some lives in the recent weather events.

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