Hamblen County is looking at expanding zoning laws to all parts of the county and not just subdivisions.
The Public Services Committee of the Hamblen County Commission voted 5-3 Tuesday night to allow the proposal to move on next week to a full commission vote. Commissioners Jeff Akard, Joe Hunstman Jr. and Wayne NeSmith voted no.
County Mayor Bill Brittain presented the amended draft of the changes to the county’s property maintenance during the commission’s regularly scheduled workshop session.
He said the changes would mean all properties in the county would be affected.
“That applies to all properties outside the city limits,” he said.
The commission approved last year enforcing new and existing property codes within the county. The commission voted at that time to implement the codes enforcement in phases with the first phase being enforcement would be applied in subdivisions.
The codes enforcement faced some opposition as county homeowners questioned changes in how many inoperable vehicles could be parked on a person’s property. Several residents packed into the large courtroom of the County Courthouse Tuesday night, but did not speak on the matter.
According to the proposed code, any property one acre or less will be allowed two inoperable cars and more than one acre will be allowed up to four cars.
“Five or more cars is considered a junkyard and we have a moratorium on junkyards,” Brittain said.
Some of the changes include changing the role of the property maintenance code board.
“It becomes more of an appeals board,” Brittain said.
Other changes include deeming a house under construction as abandoned if there has been no work on the structure after six months. If the house is considered abandoned, then any construction materials and equipment are to be removed from the site.
Brittain also said violations of the codes could also be considered a civil violation and a Class C misdemeanor. The original code said infractions would be considered a civil violation “or” a misdemeanor.
The issue of vehicles is also in the new amended code.
The full commission will vote on the proposed amendment next Thursday during its regularly scheduled meeting.
Also, the Public Services Committee voted 7-1 to amend the Joint Economic Development and Community Development Board. The amendment would change slightly change membership of the body and cleans up some language within the interlocal agreement between the city and the county.