Commission rejects Ducktown plan
Ducktown’s Growth Boundary was rejected by the County Commission last Thursday, sending the city back to the drawingboard.
Ducktown’s Growth Boundary was rejected by the County Commission last Thursday, sending the city back to the drawingboard. City Commissioner Doug Collins said they had made adjustments based on complaints they heard and no objections had been voiced at the last public hearings. County Commissioners raised concerns about city zoning ordinances being applied to areas in the growth plan if they are annexed.
Third District Commissioner Daren Waters said he was neither for it or against it, but had not had time to look at it. He said the map included in the packet for the meeting didn’t show road names and he didn’t realize how big the growth boundary was. Waters said his biggest issue was the airport and the 4th Fractional Township being in the growth area.
Collins said they had been working on the plan for years and had several public hearings to discuss it.
“If you’d showed up and expressed your concern, we could have dealt with it,” Collins said.
Third District Commissioner Sheena Gaddis said she’d heard concerns about the zoning and that people seemed to hear about things after the fact, then talk to their neighbors who also don’t know what’s going on. She said if people don’t look in the public notices they don’t know about the meetings.
A motion to approve the growth plan was made by First District Commissioner James Woody, but no second was made. State Planner Sam Saieed said the commission had to submit something in writing as to what their objections were. If no action is taken and nothing is submitted, the plan would receive tacit approval.
Collins said the city had no plans to annex. He said residents of Cherokee Hills were concerned about being annexed and they had adjusted the plan so Cherokee Hills was not included. Collins said if concerns from others had been voiced, they would have made adjustments.
Second District Commissioner Greg Brooks suggested tabling the issue until next month to let residents come to the meeting to voice their concerns. Saieed said the deadline to submit their objections was April 16th. Commissioners debated moving the meeting up a week. “Why put it off,” Collins asked. Collins said the old growth plan had been slapped together and didn’t have descriptions.
Steve Gaddis suggested maybe residents who had objected to the annexation thought it was over with and that’s why they didn’t come to additional meetings. Collins said it was not annexation. Saieed said the state currently had a moratorium on annexation and it could not occur.
Collins said they had not taken services out to areas previously annexed yet, and it was not financially beneficial to annex the airport. He said no one lived in the 4th Fractional Township areas on the growth plan. Waters said people lived on the line of it, including himself. He said he was concerned about his neighbors as well as himself.
Brooks asked if there were any places selling beer in the growth boundary, saying if they were to ever be annexed it would be a revenue loss to the county. Collins said no.
First District Commissioner John Pippenger asked about the number of chickens allowed on property in the city or if residents were allowed to shoot guns. Collins said there was no livestock allowed and guns and fireworks were prohibited.
Pippenger made a motion to reject the growth plan until the zoning issue could be addressed and they could check to see about grandfathering people in. The motion passed with Woody voting no.
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