By Cari Gervin
Community News Writer
A lengthy meeting of the Signal Mountain Town Council and the Planning Commission regarding changes to the town’s current zoning ordinance on June 20 resulted in continued discussion with no concrete decisions.
Around 35 people attended the meeting in the Development Resource Center downtown, in addition to the governmental officials and staff.
The Planning Commission had stated at its last meeting that there would be no public comment allowed. But by the end of the more than three-hour meeting, council members were asking the opinions of the major landowners of the Shackleford Ridge area.
The commission and council discussed the entire proposed Shackleford Ridge Overlay Zone in detail, section by section, giving audience members who had only recently joined the town’s growth debate a taste of what they have been missing for the past nine months.
Throughout the night several commission members asked Town Attorney Phil Noblett to explain the basis for many of the proposed changes.
“So everybody is as clear as mud on this,” Councilmember Bob Linehart joked at one point.
By the end of the evening, the town was working toward making the Open Space Subdivision option more restrictive, despite comments by developers that no one would use the plan if the minimum lot sizes were increased.
“Why would there be any incentive to use this?” asked Jay Bell, noting that no developer would want to give up 35 percent of his land for open space in order to have the same lot size and density requirements in a regular subdivision, in which no open space is required.
Mr. Bell is the son and business partner of Julian Bell, owner of Bell Development and two large parcels off Shackleford Ridge Road.
The Planning Commission will meet tonight, June 28, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss suggested revisions to the proposed zoning changes.
E-mail Cari Gervin at firstname.lastname@example.org
If You Go: The Town of Signal Mountain Planning Commission will meet tonight, June 28, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.