Stoney Creek zoning has residents signing petitions

By Lesley Jenkins
Star Staff

Stoney Creek citizens who both support and oppose zoning attended a scheduled Carter County Planning Commission meeting Tuesday after Commissioner Jack Buckles, from the 1st District, proposed the committee study the issue further during Monday's county commission meeting.
   Many Carter Countians read about the issue in Tuesday's edition of The Star and voiced opinions immediately to Planning Director Chris Schuettler. By his scheduled lunch hour Tuesday, Schuettler said he had received 50 phone calls on the subject, and several citizens had visited his office.
   On Monday, Buckles presented a petition with 779 signatures of residents opposed to zoning in Stoney Creek to county commissioners. However, Freddie Taylor, 321 Price Road, who favors zoning, said at Tuesday's meeting that, in 1998, he presented a similar petition "of close to 80 percent of Stoney Creek residents" who favor zoning.
   "When businesses come to look here, they look at where they're going to have to live and where their workers will have to live," Taylor contended. He said that, if zoning did not exist, unwanted businesses could freely locate next door to homeowners. Taylor gave an example of a pig farm. "Zoning gives restrictions that protect us as homeowners," he said.
   Taylor questioned how Buckles formed the petition. Attempts to contact Buckles for comment were unsuccessful.
   A request was made to the commission to allow Taylor and his supporters enough time to form another petition. Members announced the item will be on the agenda for the next planning commission meeting on August 26.
   Planning Committee Chairman Bill Armstrong suggested Taylor bring the 1998 petition and supportive residents to the next meeting.
   Commission members emphasized that zoning has not been rescinded; that the topic has only been referred back to them for review at the August meeting. Even if the planning commission decides that it would be in the best interest of Stoney Creek residents to end zoning, a final decision would require a two-thirds majority vote by the full Carter County Commission.
   In other business, the commission denied a request by Eva Phipps to rezone a portion of Old Watauga Road from an A-1 to an R-3 property. Keith Quinn spoke on behalf of citizens against rezoning the property.
   Phipps planned to transform the 2.2 acres into an eight lot mobile home park. Quinn argued that another mobile home park with 22 lots is located on the road. Quinn had collected a petition with 85 signatures from residents on Reynolds Road and Rose Wood Circle.
   Phipps' request was denied due to the number of residents opposed to it as well as concern about hazardous runoff to a creek on the back side of the property. Phipps has the right to appeal the decision.