Planning Commission and BZA retain same officers

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Both the Morristown Regional Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals voted to keep their respective leadership teams in place during Tuesday’s meeting at the City Center.

Frank McGuffin will continue to serve as chairman of the commission while Jack Kennerly will serve as vice chair and Roni Snyder will continue as secretary.

The Rev. Ventrus Norfolk is chair of the BZA with Bill Thompson serving as vice chair. Councilmember Bob Garrett is secretary.

In regular business, the commission sent a rezoning request for a proposed housing development off of Highway 25E to the City Council for its consideration.

The proposed subdivision would feature 53 single-family units that would go on the market with prices ranging from $200,000 to $300,000 as well as 84 townhouses that would sell for $180,000.

“These are not low income housing,” a representative for the development said. “These are built for wage earners.”

The development would have direct access onto 25E as well as Keystone Drive.

Adjacent property owners expressed concerns about increased traffic on Keystone Drive as well as their perceived risk of more crime in the area.

The adjacent property owners said they were also concerned that neighbors on Keystone Drive hadn’t been notified. City staff said policy is to notify adjacent neighbors but they would be happy to notify Keystone Drive residents as the proposed project works its way through the process.

One resident expressed concern about the 25E access because she may want access to the Highway from her land at some point in the future and feels granting the development access would reduce her chances.

The commission voted 8-1, with Thompson casting the only dissenting vote, to send a recommendation to the city council to approve the change. The Council will have to vote twice on the change before it is law. The commission also approved preliminary site plans for the project by the same vote.

That approval does not go to the city council but the final plans will have to be brought before the commission as well.

In other business the commission approved preliminary plat approval for a development essentially across the highway and approved a plat request for Stonehaven Phase III as well as a rezoning request on East Main Street so a 100-year old home that was zoned for Intermediate Business could be sold as a residential home.

The commission also approved the Crockett Trace Extension that will eventually connect the Walmart-dominated Crockett Trace to East Morris Boulevard via Thompson Creek Road. The extension will serve the residents of Phillip Caryle’s housing development on Thompson Creek Road and will aid in the flow of traffic from Walters State around to East Morris.

Finally, the commission agreed to close and remove the Donaldson Street connector hub between the Green Hills Subdivision and the Lee Hills Subdivision.