Jul 25 2007

The Maryville Daily Times reports that the Blount County Planning Commission will meet Thursday.

Final approval of Overlook Phase I on Chilhowee Mountain is on the agenda. According to the article, the developers have settled all the lawsuits with Save Chilhowee Mountain and Planning Commission Chairman Jim Scully has inspected the site work and says it is OK.

Also on the agenda is a zoning change that would increase density to three residential units per acre in Rural R-1 zones that are inside the urban growth boundary and have sewer service. According to the article, Planning Director John Lamb developed the new regulations at the direction of the Planning Commission. Planning Commissioner Bill Proffitt expressed concerns about adequate roads with the increased density.

As you may recall, the was quite a bit of controversy about the project on Chilhowee Mountain. The Save Chilhowee Mountain group brought many concerns to the public's attention, but now says they are working with the developer on land use regulations and have setup a watch dog project to bring water quality and other issues to Harmony's attention.

The group had previously sued the developer for environmental violations and sued Blount County for not enforcing them, saying "The future of Blount County needs a little more scrutiny than the rubber stamp that was given" to the project.

Another controversy involved the purchase of Camp Montvale from YMCA for the project and concerns that the historical camp would be shut down and developed. This was settled when the developer agreed to lease the property back to Friends of Camp Montvale and allow them to continue operating it.

It appears the developer was successful in fighting off various citizens groups and the handful of public officials concerned about growth and mountaintop development, and has managed to turn them into allies. We hope they make good on all their promises and everyone remains as happy as they appear to be today.

density increase

The issue of density increase in the current R-1 zones that are also in the Urban Growth Boundry for the cities is most likely being done so that the apartments can be built on Wm. Blount Drive.

Most likely.

But the way the proposal is worded it would apply to all similar R-1 areas within the UGB.

While I do understand the Smart Growth concept and we do need this option of more houses per acre where services are available I have one little old question....

Who pays to educate the children in the new developments? Because if it is county land, they will go to county schools... schools which are already overcrowded.

As far as I can tell we have dropped all the concerns for school overcrowding from the County Zoning Codes. We used to call that Standard of School Capacity

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