Oct 28 2007
When: Thu. January 1, 1970 12:00 AM

The Planning Commission will hold a called meeting to begin revision of the Policies Plan and other plans of the County on October 30 at 5:30 P.M. in Room 430 of the Courthouse.

You may have missed the announcement of this very important meeting since it is not listed under the Meetings listing on the county website. It is rather hidden under the Plans listing.

Why are we changing the Blount County Policies Plan? Have the residents of this county changed their opinions as to what they want for Blount County? Do we no longer love the rural beauty or have we made the choice to become the bedroom for Knoxville and Oak Ridge?

Could it be....... 411 South as strip mall city or Pollywood West?

Could it be....... because SBUD is now in the sewer bid'ness?

Could it be....... to offer even more protection to Townsend and The Privileged Side of the Smokies?

Read the documents then come to the meeting.

Joe328. Your summary of good

Joe328. Your summary of good codes is a definite start. Many times new developement cannot be stopped. Many times, though, new development can be controlled and restricted. I have seen it happen where citizens forced a change and where a city decided to regulate change.

the citizens of Farragut gave it a strong fight, and it does look better than most strip malls.

Not much though. I don't believe I lived in the area when Turkey Creek was in the development stages. Good for the citizens of Farragut. I would like to have witnessed some of there work. We learn from others on how to change the system to better the community.

bait what you want

you plainly have added things to the quote that wasn't entirely published but what the papers editors have took out of it. the whole statement was not published. so you want to add things go ahead but dont try to pass your own judgements on here that is not correct. flies are plentiful in your boiling blood.


This is your big chance to clear the record. Not further cloud the issue. If the paper clipped out something valuable from the quotes, fill us in.


fill us in Jim....

well there ya go again

posting 1/2 truths and wanting it to true. Unless you actually read the news article and not half heartly and want your blood to boil. go re-read the article and then add the apology after you read and post again. But IF you were to read it again and see that it was rick brownlie that said that. keep the flies flying around the cowpatties. you are good at stirring up things that were not actually true.

Since you are so close to the subject

Maybe you wouldn't mind explaining what Mr. Scully meant by this:

"It’s a six-lane highway without the lines,” Scully said. “Where is a better fit to have commercial in the county?”

Was he advocating clustering such commercial development and placing it near intersections?

Was he advocating just commercializing the whole thing to a depth of 500 feet straight to the county line?

Was he saying that ALL types of commercial: retail, big box, wholesale, manufacturing, industrial, etc., were appropriate for the whole length of 411S, or did he specify parts that were within the Urban Growth Boundary?

Did Mr. Scully pay homage to Public Chapter 1101's definition of property that lies outside Growth Boundaries? (Rural.)

Did he make reference to the state's scenic highway status?

This is your chance to say something meaningful and convincing on a serious topic that you are evidently passionate about vs. being intentionally controversial or contrary with the purpose of baiting users into an argumentative response.


JS did not get credit for the Brownlie quote in the first post. You are imagining things silly boy.

JS only got credit for the six lane blurb....

Didn't these guys read the Hunter Strategy?

Sorry to be so chatty on this topic, but it makes my blood boil. We paid something like $350,000 for the Hunter Interest Strategy 2 or 3 years ago, and still, we've got the Chairman of the Planning Commission making comments like this in today's paper?? (link...)

"It’s a six-lane highway without the lines,” Scully said. “Where is a better fit to have commercial in the county?”

The Hunter Strategy was pretty clear that any commercial along corridors should be created in a sort of cluster, near the intersections, with one safe entrance/exit. It spoke of the pressures to commercialize all along the sides of a highway because of visibility, but explained that that was a bad idea for the long-term.

“Everybody I talk to doesn’t want commercial development on 411, but none of them own property (on the highway),” he said.

Well, THAT'S business as usual. Let's leave our community's planning up to the property owners alone and just eliminate the Planning Commission. I mean, why can't we all just mail in a form along with our taxes that says "my property shall be zoned commercial/residential/industrial" and just have John Lamb make up the map from that? Cut out the middle man.

[P.S.: Brownlie said the second quote, not Jim Scully. That is clear in the article, of course, but Mr. Anonymous Grouser (below)wanted to make sure I clarified it in this post as well. It wasn't enough to entitle this comment "these guyS" (plural). My sincerest apologies for the confusion and gee, I hope I didn't destroy Mr. Scully's reputation as a great planner.]

They're doing this on the

They're doing this on the South Knoxville Waterfront Project. They're calling it "form based zoning". It means you can do whatever you want on the property (commercial, residential, combination), you just have to build it to meet specific requirements for setback, height, and appearance.

Townsend was protected years ago

Could it be....... to offer even more protection to Townsend and The Privileged Side of the Smokies?

There is nothing to stop commercial building in Townsend, except the desire to build under their codes. Townsend has setbacks, green areas, and sign laws that have been in place for over 20 years.

Most commercial developers want to build or pave the entire lot, and have plenty of signs, something Townsend prohibits. Townsend has metal buildings, a portable john business on the main highway, and once had a commercial tire recapping business on the main highway. When you put plenty of green around any commercial building, it greatly improves the appearance.

I think the cookie cutter subdivisions with houses built so close together look just as bad as 411 South. Without these subdivisions there would be no explosion of commercial development.

There is nothing wrong with commercial expansion, provided it's well regulated by building codes and not zoning. The need for shopping close to home will win every time, especially with the cost of gas rising.

I have been to some towns where I would enjoy living next to a commercial area more than I would most subdivisions in Blount County.

Commercial vs. businesses that serve local needs

I think the cookie cutter subdivisions with houses built so close together look just as bad as 411 South. Without these subdivisions there would be no explosion of commercial development.

Joe, I've got to disagree with you here. Or maybe the word "commercial" is confusing in context of 411S; "industrial" may be more like it. Noone's complaining about the little stores where you can get a gallon of milk along 411 near residential development, but that ain't what those metal buildings house. Those seem to house manufacturing type businesses, like cabinet shops, boat tower plants, etc. The Gilded Mirror is another example of that, although it has been there a very long time. And then things like Used Car Lots, Tile Outlets, etc. So the complaints you are hearing are not ONLY about looks, but a lot about what fits in with residential, agricultural use in an area that will presumably NEVER be on sewer.

I've seen some beautiful towns utilizing the village concept, like Park City, Utah, and Peachtree City, GA, where you can safely walk to the grocery store and other shops that might interest a resident. But that's NOT what is happening on 411S. Evidently (according to the Sports Complex Developer) the land is cheap and folks would rather locate there than in the county's industrial park system.

Local, you missed my point

When I drive 411 South is there a need for me to see the Gilden Mirror building, the cabinet shops, boat plants, and WalMart. All I need to see is a sign on the road and buildings should be hidden by trees. The industrial park behind Charles West was just starting to look nice, when they cut the trees back to short stubs.

I've seen industrial parks that were only visible by there sign next to the road. I grew up in west Knoxville within a mile of a steel fabricating business, and never knew it was there for about fifteen years. In years past most industrial businesses did hide there business to blend in with the community, and avoid conflict. In Kentucky the coal mining industry was hidden from view by trees, grass, and flowers along scenic roads. Busch Gardens is an industrial plant hidden in a zoo.

Today every business wants to be seen by everyone 24 hours a day. This is what need to change. Changing the codes to hid buildings from view and better regulation of signs would improve the looks of 411 at little cost to the business.

Once again, I would rather live next to a well designed industrial park, than a cookie cutter subdivision with all the houses thirty feet from the street and twenty feet from the next door neighbors.

I see what you are saying

Much could be improved with design standards and buffering.

Improved designs

TDOT has just approved a revised plan for 321 Phase II (four lanes) east of Gatlinburg. After working with the local citizens, the new plan will include a divided two lane road with arched bridges faced with stone, indirect sign lighting, and other changes to make the road look like the National Park.

Realizing they could not stop the four lane, the citizens pushed for changes in the design to make it look more like the spur.

I believe the citizens of Blount County need to change the building codes along 411S and give up on stopping progress. 411 will become commercial, and planning ahead will determine what the commercial area looks like.

i just got back from a trip

i just got back from a trip down 411S to the Loudon County line, a trip i make about twice a week, and I agree with Joe. We need to plan for this highway's design. It gets uglier every day.

You call that progress?

Joe, I agree that we need to add design standards (we have only recently employed building codes in the county at all), but if you'll look at the Hunter Strategy, which I think you could get it from the Planning office, at least to borrow because its about 400 pages, you'll see that what is going on in terms of commercializing all along this road is *not* "progress."

The current lack of strategy [you know, the one that assumes commercialization to the county line] is creating a serious problem with exactly the same philosophy as what created I'll killya highway, not a "gradual betterment" of the corridor or what you call progress.

Better codes

Let me express my idea of good codes. Require all commercial buildings to have a ratio of green area to commercial area. All parking lots must have a ten foot green area with trees between each row of parking. Trees must be planted to shield at least 70% of the building and parking from the road. A buffer of trees along the sides of each business must shield 70% of the property. A natural area or trees must shield 100% of the commercial area from residential area.

All outdoor lighting must be down lighting, and no light fixtures higher than 15 ft. above the ground. Restrict the amount of light per sq ft, and the amount of light that may cross the property line. Restrict the amount of light during the fall and winter months when the leaves are off the trees.

No signs with back-lighting permitted. Signs must use indirect down lighting. the size of the sign will be a ratio to the size of the building, but no sign larger than 250 sq. ft. All signs must have the street number at bottom center, with the number large enough to be read from 500 ft. No sign higher than 25 ft. All signs must be off after closing.

Some of theses are codes I have seen in other cities around the country.

Put that in a commercial

Put that in a commercial park that is concentrated near an intersection with only one entrance and I would think that was great.

Put it all down both sides of the highway and it would be the same old whore, in a slightly prettier dress.

Your Right, it is a Whore

I wish we could stop commercial development and leave it as farming, but that's a difficult task. With codes you can keep most commercial development to a minimum. WalMart, BestBuy, Kmart, and most big box stores won't build in a zone with restricted regulations, and most cheep operations can't afford the cost of building. If you have strict building codes, most developers refuse to try, and the ones than do, make it looks better than others.

Just look at the Farragut and there building codes. Some commercial buildings are now empty, and very little commercial building is taking place in there town. Most of the commercial building today looks good, and it improves every day. Turkey Creek is a big disaster, but the citizens of Farragut gave it a strong fight, and it does look better than most strip malls.

What would the new WalMart look like if 75% of there property had to be in green areas?

Oh gosh

Don't even get me STARTED on Walmart; much less the SECOND Walmart for this single freaking community.

What progress?

When roads like 411 S and 321 W went four lane it was to ease driving, making it safer for drivers, a way to connect the county seats to interstates. So filling the distance between point A ( the interstate) to point B ( the county seat ) with stop and go traffic, entering and leaving businesses on the frontage helps nothing.

Ramsey is the only one on the Planning Commission with a clue. When Lamb said zoning in BC has been market driven Ramsey spoke up and said something to the effect that this was the Planning Commission not the Marketing Commission. I wish he would have said that it is also NOT an arm of the Alcoa Maryville Homebuilders Assn.

Four lane

When roads like 411 S and 321 W went four lane it was to ease driving, making it safer for drivers, a way to connect the county seats to interstates.

I find this hard to believe since 411's nearest connection to the interstate is in Cartersville, GA, and 321 does not connect all the county seats it passes through. Before it was expanded to four lanes, 441S was stop and go along with several traffic lights between Maryville and Georgia.

Once again with building codes designed to enhance the beauty of this county, development will slow down and land values will rise. Townsend put building codes in place years ago, to avoid the growth like Pigeon Forge. Today, the value of property in Townsend is rising rapidly, while Sevier County is falling is most areas, and rising is some, but noting to really brag about.

I too

I too thought WTH when I read an old press release about the widening of 411. Then I spent too much time in the TDOT files.


System Expansion and Enhancement – Signiicant increases in funding are proposed to reduce congestion levels, to advance the goal of the county seat connector program, to support expanded and new public transportation program and to improve intermodal freight facilities through new partnerships for rail and waterway improvements.

The map shows it all.

Look, I have no problem with both plans and zoning / building regulations. We need them. That is where we are suppose to be right now with the County Plans. But all you have to do is listen to hear what the plan is....

Does anyone remember back when the mayor told Lamb to stay out of 'zoning' and only do 'planning' then Fields got a raise to do zoning?

What becomes really

What becomes really interesting is that these cheaper to build metal boxes can be a simple ploy for what will happen in later years. Once zoned commercial the path is created for super golf and swim/ amusement parks to come in and buy a swath of properties to create the mega amusement centers.

I know we talk about not allowing 411 South to become Alcoa highway. What I see is 411 South becoming Alcoa Highway then it will become the main drag of Pigeon Forge. How is that for Planning?

Here is another kick in the butt. You can not stop a church from being built. But once a church is built and they want to move out of a metal building into something else, you can not stop that former church from becoming commercial. It too becomes a defacto zoning issue.

At last night's planning meeting

At last night's planning meeting it was made clear that the route to the economic engine of Blount County was going to get protected and 411 South will be built commercial. When I say Townsend and The Privileged Side of the Smokies there is an AND between the two for good reason.

One is Townsend, but the Privileged side of the Smokies starts in Maryville then heads east to the Park.

lots of open space and

lots of open space and greenspace

like the medians in the

like the medians in the center of it.

411 S

It took some looking, but I finally found an aerial photograph of 411S, Blount County, circa 2008:

viva Evo Morales

I worry more about the areas

I worry more about the areas off of 411 South. Trigonia Road, Thompsons Bridge (which I think is up to be replaced but should be preserved) areas, than I do the actual highway. The country that I have seen in these areas was just beautiful. Lets not forget Meadow Road and Greenback on the other side of 411 South.
Has 411 S not always been a commercial area?
I must say the metal warehouse looking buildings are perfectly horrible. I mean we got tire shops and churches in those ugly buildings. what's that all about?

It's all about money

You can make a lot of money slapping up big metal buildings and then renting them out to various businesses.

They sure aren't pretty.

Nostradamus of the South

Unfortunately, you only need to find a current photo of Alcoa Highway between the Pellissippi Parkway and the Airport to know what 411S will look like in 2008-9!

This is going to cost us how much?

Changes to the Blount County Ploicies Plan

Concerned Citizen
Any changes made to the existing policy plan will affect every citizen of the county, therefore I am of the opinion that ANY change should be placed upon the county ballot and approved by the majority of the county citizens.
The existing system of letting 12 members, who are appointed to thier seats on the Planning Commission, make these changes does not seem like the proper procedure. These members are not elected by the citizens and therefore they do not answer to them.
I understand that these changes will be voted upon by the 21 member County Commission. But I believe that any change made to our existing Policy Plan will have a great effect upon all the citizen of the county, and therefore should be approved by them.

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