City wins subdivision planning dispute

   The Local Government Planning Advisory Committee in Nashville has issued a letter redesignating the Elizabethton Planning Commission as a regional planning commission.
   As a result of the decision, the City of Elizabethton has won the right to regulate the development of new subdivisions in a portion of Carter County outside the city limits despite opposition from the Carter County Commission.
   The Elizabethton Planning Commission as a regional body will establish regulations and oversight for the development of subdivisions in the portion of the county designated as the urban growth area.
   Elizabethton's urban growth area includes portions of west Carter County to the Washington County line and areas north of the city where the Northern Connector highway will be built.
   The urban growth area is defined as being parts of the county that are on the fringe of the city, that receives city services and will become a part of the city in five to 10 years or longer.
   City Manager Charles Stahl said the goal of the city planners is to make the developers meet the city standards on the front end rather than after the area is annexed.
   Stahl said the decision was a win-win for the city and the county, and formalizes the city's efforts to work with developers in areas where city services are going to be a part of the subdivision. It will be mutually beneficial for both parties.