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Planning commission responsible for growth and zoning

Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

The nine-member Morristown Regional Planning Commission is responsible for growth planning within the city limits as well as the city’s urban growth boundary.

Issues that arise in the UGB often require coordinating efforts with Hamblen County government agencies.

Planning commission matters come to the Morristown City Council as recommendations, which must get majority support in order to pass.

The Morristown Board of Zoning Appeals reviews variance and use on review requests in an effort to balance zoning ordinance requirements with special circumstances and site conditions.

Each variance request is reviewed based upon specific criteria and whether or not a hardship is created by adhering to the zoning ordinance.

Hardships may be created by topography, irregular lot shapes or existing easements. Unlike planning commission actions, BZA decision are final and do not require approval by city councilmembers.

Those dissatisfied with BZA decision have the option of appealing the matter to Hamblen County Chancery Court.

The MRPC and BZA meet every second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the City Center.

The members are chair Jim Beelart, vice chair William Thompson, secretary Jack Kennerly and other members Mayor Danny Thomas, Ken Smith, Rose Parella, Kelley Hinsley, Katy Klose and Robert Garrett.

The only members that live outside the city limits, but inside the UGB are Parella and Hinsely.

Kennerly chairs the BZA and Klose is the secretary. The vice chair position is currently open.

 With the exception of Parella and Hinsley, who are not on the BZA, the membership of the planning commission and BZA is identical.