May 5 2008

There is a County Commission workshop tomorrow, 6:30 PM at the courthouse. Some of the agenda items:

• Budget Committee items.

• Budget – Impact on tax rate, employee insurance, and debt service.

• Status on Children’s Home.

• Status on Road access to the Sheriff’s Firing Range and Training Area.

• Blount County Ethics Policy.

• Amending Commission Rules and Procedures.

• Petition Concerning Chilhowee Shooting Range.

• Discussion Regarding Blount County Noise Ordinances.

• Denial of Commercial Rezoning Request Concerning Highway 321.

• Zoning request re. properties on Lail Lane

From the information package:

• A petition signed by more than 80 residents was submitted regarding noise and potential water safety hazards at the Chilhowee Shooting Range. They are asking County Commission to "look into the matter" of these issues that they would "like to get stopped or under control."

• The matter of Highway 321 rezoning involves property at Lamar Alexander Parkway, Gateway Rd., and Tuckaleechee Trail. The owners had requested commercial zoning, which was denied by County Commission. They advised Mayor Cunningham that there was no valid reason to deny the zoning. In a May 2 memo to County Commission, Mayor Cunningham said "Upon the receipt of Ms. Whaley's letter, I asked for Rob's comment because at the last commission meeting I became very concerned about Blount County being sued over the vote denying the request. I think the manner in which the vote went down may have been based on a possible misconception relative to what is the law on this kind of matter. Certainly, I feel that it would be extremely difficult to defend such a lawsuit and not only would Blount County incur unnecessary legal expenses, but we could incur a rather large judgment. I would hope that the Commission would see fit to discuss the matter further."

• Regarding the Children's Home, Mayor Cunningham's attorney advises on May 2 that "I have met with Larry Giordano, the attorney for the Children's Home on April 24, 2008. We discussed all the outstanding issues. As you are aware, you and I then discussed property issues. I have conveyed to Mr. Giordano what I believe you and I can recommend to the County Commission. Mr. Giordano was to meet with the Children's Home Board this week and then make a a written proposal to me to settle all issues."

• Regarding the Lail Lane property rezoning, a citizen submitted a letter to Environmental Health stating that "At the present time we object to any rezoning that might now or in the future under present circumstances create greater problems in water control than we are presently experiencing." The citizen details the drainage problems, and also cites concerns about taxes, infrastructure, and traffic control. The letter concludes "No acceptance of a zoning change on Lail Lane should be approved before a thorough impact study is completed on the items listed."


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