Feb 15 2008
By: Concerned citizen  shortURL

I notice that our local newspaper did not publish the results from their on line poll on 02/13/08.

This poll ask the following question:

The results from 450 votes cast were 66.2% in favor of banning these concerts and 33.8 were in favor of allowing these concerts.

Note this poll did not indicate that our local zoning regulations do not list the use of concerts as an accepted use that is allowed, nor as a use that can be granted as a special exception. As a matter of fact these regulations state the following:
" All uses are prohibited except those uses permitted specifically or by special exception by the Board of Zoning Appeals."


Corn maze controversy

Blount Today did an article about that harrassment of the 80 year old lady who took the matter to the BZA: (link...)

It revealed something weird about the BZA process, though:

Schmidt said he submitted a $50 fee to appeal the ruling. His attorney also spoke with county attorney Rob Goddard, who advised Fields that what Schmidt was doing on the farm constituted “incidental” use, and it would be hard for any zoning regulations to be applied to the situation.

“Roger Fields conveyed that message to me, and I thought it was a done deal.

Since when is a non-public conversation with Roger Fields, the Building Commissioner, an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals? Sounds like there was some misunderstanding of the process. So the neighbor had to formally appeal instead of Schmidt, further villifying her.

Also, as I understood other coverage of the story, the county attorney - and thus the BZA - said ONCE a year was incidental use - not the 7 concerts that Schmidt was already doing.

I have admired the creativity of Maple Lane Farms in the past, and I am sure the quiet activities made for fine neighbors. The helicopter rides and late-night concerts that have emerged more recently - not so much.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Incidential Use

Concerned Citizen
It was my understanding that the opinion issued by the county attorney Stated that the use of a CORN MAZE with a band, once a year, for a short period of time, would be an incudential use of the agricultural use of this land.

But one would have to question should this incidential use be allowed to take place for several weekends, until 10 PM each night, and therefore had an adverse effect upon the adjoining neighbors?

Is there a definition for "incidental"?

Also, CC, while the attorney wrote an opinion, he is not a replacement for the BZA. It seems to me a rather large step was skipped here.

I did not realize from the Daily Times article that other neighbors had been disturbed, too. You would think from all the bad press the older lady received that she was the only one. And why blame her for something that was the BZA's decision to make anyway?

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

Concerned Citizen Plaese

Concerned Citizen
Plaese note the following definations

From Marriam Webster dictionary on-line

Incidental = something that is incidental

Incidentally = in an incidental manner : not intentionally

_______________________________________________________From Webster’s Dictionary:

1. Happening, as an occasional event, without regularity; coming without design; casual; accidental; hence, not of prime concern; subordinate; collateral; as, an incidental conversation; an incidental occurrence; incidental expenses.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

We find it stated within these definations that it is not intentional, as stated within the Marriam Webster dictionary, or it happens without regularity, as stated within Webster's dictionary ?

Then how can these concerts be advertised and held several times a year,on a yearly basis?

It seems to me that this would constitute an intentional act on a regular basis.

Wouldn't it be nice....

...if the county enforced its zoning regulations as well as the City of Maryville? The city doesn't have a problem standing up to the mighty Vulcan Materials. Why doesn't the county just tell ol' Maple Lane Farms it's out of line? You either cut out the helicopter rides and late night concerts or you're out of business. See? It's pretty simple stuff. If Schmidt wants to add attractions, he'd be smart to keep it simple family fun. He needs to remember his farm is not in Pigeon Forge!

City of Maryville enforce its zoning regulations

Concerned Citizen
The following statement in the February 16th article in The Daily Times makes it clear that the City of Maryville believes the city should enforce its zoning regulations to protect citizens from noise that could diminish the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

From the article: Mayor: Not ‘wasting’ money in Vulcan suit

"It is the job of the city to enforce its zoning laws and to protect citizens from operations that diminish the quiet enjoyment of their homes and property.”

Nabobs and Ruffians

The word "nabob" just doesn't get used often enough: (link...)

I cannot believe that the men of Blount County are going to stand by and watch while ruffians terrorize an 80-year-old lady who lives alone just because she stood up to the neighbors for violating zoning law.

I think Mr. Sunny Day (is that a real name?) is calling it true.

Perhaps there are a few retired Marines around who have fought for the rights of people to have peace in their homes.

Gee, wonder who he's talking about? Sadly, the Mayor's too busy trying to deconstruct the PBA, the Sister City Program, South Blount Utility District, the Children's Home, etc., etc., ad nauseam, to worry about defense of the elderly populace from ruffians.

"I think it would be a good idea."
-Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization

If YOU were County Mayor...

what would you do in this situation? If you knew for a fact that elderly citizens ( or any citizen, for that matter) were being harassed in Blount County in a routine and frequent way, and you were the county's leading executive, what steps would you take?

Let's make a list.

I'll start.

1. Develop a way to collect information from the general public on harassment incidents.

2. Analyze the nature of those incidents to determine patterns of behavior and, if possible, predictors for future incidents.

3. Call a meeting of all county law enforcement administrators (city police, county sheriff, emergency management, etc.) to begin planning for effective intervention both in individual situations, and across their jurisdictions.

4. ?

Then what?


4. Ensure that swift action is taken against anyone harassing citizens who are in support of you and speaking out for your point of view.

5. Ignore all other.

Now where is my Rice-a-Roni?

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