Planning Commissioner Rick Brownlie, a really terrific guy and one of the bright spots on our planning commission, has initiated a very neat search utilizing the Daily Times: (link...)

They want to base their study on one conducted recently from Sevier County (shudder): (link...)

“To begin protecting these important resources, one must first identify specific publicly accessible places from which the views of these hillside and ridges are enjoyed. Such places normally include scenic highways, walking trails, scenic lookouts, parks, historic sites and buildings, and canoe and kayak routes.”

So, what views are important to you? Take a few moments and e-mail your thoughts to editor@thedailytimes.com or mail them to Scenic Views, The Daily Times, P.O. Box 9740, Maryville, TN 37803. The suggestions will be provided to the Planning Commission for informational purposes. A top 10 list of most suggested views will be also be published in The Daily Times.

I guess they include these instructions to save "Overlook at Montvale" the ole Ruby Tuesday treatment:

If you have strong feelings about any individual developments in Blount County, feel free to write a letter to the editor.

Just reading the words "Sevier County" in the context of "conservation" makes my blood pressure shoot up:

A guiding principle of the Sevier County study, which can be found online at (link...), was that hillside development should not be completely prohibited. One of the most important recommendations is the principle that all development should be secondary to the surroundings.

I support what they are trying to accomplish. Let's have our own "contest" in parallel. Who wants to start?

Most views important to me

Most views important to me are already ruined by development. I used to enjoy a Sunday drive through Happy Valley to Chilhowee Lake then back home on 6 Mile Road or Indian Warpath to Mint Road and on back to town. It's been a while and I'm about afraid to go now. I'm sure I'd be sick before the drive was through.

I think this is a good idea.

I think this is a good idea. My problem is, I couldn't pick the Three Sisters out of a lineup. I think I can identify Chilhowee Mt., but only when I'm standing on it.

Maybe the thing to do is to take pictures, upload them to the photo gallery, and note where you took them from. That way if you're not sure of the location (i.e. you are geographically challenged like me) someone can maybe help identify it.

Sevier did not even adopt this concept

Just to let you know since the great daily times opted out of not telling the whole story and to get people agitated.

I love ...

The scenic Brown Bubble across the horizon you can see from the upper floors of Blount Memorial Hospital. Man, those views are breathtaking. I also can't wait to see Desert Lizards starting occupation in the GSMNP--just think of the Sand-based species that'll start popping up 'round there.

viva Evo Morales

Good examples of Ridgetop protection

I scared up the text of the 1983 Ridgetop Protection Laws for North Carolina: ((link...)).

Their laws actually forbid local municipalities to provide services to development on "protected mountaintops."

What other states do you know of that do a particularly good job?

Your input helps!

Thanks, Local, for the link to the NC law. I am personally pleased to see our Planning Commission taking up the issue of ridgetop protection.

My hope is that they'll look at both the views AND the mountains themselves.

Whether you're looking at this issue from an aesthetic point of view (quality of life, local beauty, etc.), an environmental one (water safety, air pollution) or as an economic issue (what makes it worthwhile for a business to move their employees & their money here), it is to the benefit for all of Blount County to protect those hills.

Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, it always helps to see examples that work in other places. If any of you know of regulations in other mountainous areas that you think would help us here in East Tennessee, please let us know.

Thanks!

Wendy Pitts Reeves, L.C.S.W.
Blount County Commissioner, District 4, Seat C

ya gotta love that Mr. Miller!

(link...)

My wish and my recommendation does concern Chilhowee Mountain. We need a rule, a regulation in black and white, that’s made to limit any development to below 1,000 feet from the mountain top. In other words, no development would be allowed on top of the mountain or within 1,000 feet of the top.

IF I could vote on members of the Planning Commission, this man would get my vote for sure!

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