Rezoning requests approved by Planning Commission

By Lesley Jenkins
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Planning Commission members progressed through a short agenda of rezoning requests and property divisions at Tuesday's meeting.
Members unanimously approved a rezoning request for property owned by Duke Morton from A-1 to B-3. The 14.3 acres is located off Bill Garland Road. According to Planning Director Chris Schuettler the property adjoins Johnson City property. The property will possibly be annexed into Johnson City.
The next item on the agenda concerned the same property. Commissioners approved the division of Morton's property, which would total 22.44 acres divided into 13 lots for commercial development. Morton questioned the commission as to why only 14.3 acres needed to be rezoned but the total acreage was 22.44.
Schuettler said a portion of the land was already zoned B-2 and representatives of the Morton property only needed the remaining 14.3 acres rezoned for commercial purposes.
Morton said he has been working for nearly 20 years on readying the property for commercial development and did not know what business might locate on the property in the near future.
A petition was submitted to the commission to rezone properties on Old Watauga Road from the present A-1 zone to R-1. The commission was informed that before they can vote to rezone the area, an advertisement must be put in a local newspaper before the next Planning Commission meeting. At that time, the commissioners will vote on the request.
A request to approve the division of property on Jim Elliott Road was tabled until issues could be resolved concerning a discrepancy of acreage measurements on lot one. The lot is labeled with two different acreage measurements and Schuettler wants to investigate the issue further before the commission approves the division.
Commissioner Jerry Pearman stated the property has not complied with codes relating to excessive trailers on lots, tires, buses, disabled vehicles and a hog living in a trailer. The commission tabled the item.
Codes Enforcement Officer Craig Malone presented a report on the litter law enforcement complete with before and after pictures of code violations. Six locations were shown to the commissioners with various violations such as excessive rubbish, trash, car parts, industrial equipment, barrels and propane tanks. Each location was cleaned in reasonable time and is now in compliance with the litter law.
County Mayor Dale Fair asked Malone to prepare a letter to be sent to various civic clubs and church organizations asking for volunteers to assist cleaning property belonging to someone who is physically unable.
"What better project could there be but to help a neighbor," said Fair.
The commission made a motion for Malone to draft a letter requesting phone numbers of organizations willing to volunteer.