Board of zoning appeals clarifies definition for Freeman Taylor

By Lesley Jenkins
star staff
The Carter County Board of Zoning and Appeals held a meeting on Monday evening to clarify the definition of B-1 zoning at the request of Freeman Taylor.
Taylor owns a property at the intersection of Green Valley Lane and U.S. Highway 91 where his son operates Unaka Service Station. The land was zoned B-1 when zoning went into effect in the 1st District in the 1990s.
B-1 zoning allows gasoline service stations but does not allow a tire store/service station. The board clarified that the term gasoline service station requires gasoline or petroleum products to be sold in order to remain under the B-1 zone.
Since Taylor does not operate a gasoline service station, the definition stands as is in the county's zoning ordinance. The board voted unanimously against Taylor's request.
Before the vote, Taylor presented his case to the board stating,"We want to be neighbors to our neighbors. If it (the business) ever got to the point of where it isn't, I would lock it up."
Neighbors of the business allege Taylor has been working in the shop as late as 11:30 p.m., and large trucks have been pulling out of the business onto Green Valley Lane instead of onto U.S. Highway 91 as the agreement states.
Phyllis Eggers, who lives next to the business, said disgruntled neighbors are concerned about extra traffic the business has brought onto Green Valley Lane, loud noises emitted from the large trucks parked in the parking lot, and late business hours which alledgedly disturb the neighborhood.
A gasoline service station would be allowed in a B-1 zone. Taylor said since he bought the property under the impression that the land would be commercial, he still wants to operate a business there, even if he has to install gasoline pumps to be in compliance. If he did choose to make the business a gasoline service station, he would not make it a 24-hour business, he said.
Concerning the possibility of a gasoline service station instead of a tire store, Eggers said, "If he meets the guidelines of B-1, we will live with it. If he wants to do that. If that's what B-1 says then we will have to live with it. The question is, 'Do we abide by B-1 or do we not?'"