Cannon County could soon have its first zoning resolution in place, depending on how the county commission votes at a meeting on Aug. 3.
The commission was presented with a zoning resolution and map of the areas to be affected during its monthly meeting on July 15. The zoning resolution is scheduled to be voted on at the commission's next regular month meeting, in August.
A public hearing to allow residents to comment on the proposed zoning resolution will precede the Aug. 3 meeting.
County Commissioner Glenn Steakley, who also serves on the planning commission, presented the zoning resolution to the full commission during the July 15 meeting.
"You have before you two years of work that has been crafted by your planning commission," Steakley said. "The Cannon County Commission asked your planning commission to look into and propose a desirable county zoning resolution. What you have here is work that has been done by your planning commission and it has been done in a very careful manner."
The resolution establishes zoning districts within the unincorporated territory of Cannon County. It regulates the uses of property within the county, adopts a map of the districts to be zoned, and requires zoning compliance permits for the construction and use of buildings and premises within those districts.
"There are a lot of questions about zoning, and there should be," Steakley said. "Along with any zoning resolution, you must have a compliance officer. Cannon County is small enough where they can have a part-time compliance officer that we can team up with other counties around us so that it's not like a full-time position. How much will that cost? I have no idea, but it will be considerably less than a full-time officer anyway. Plus this compliance officer would not have to have an office hear in the county. We would pay him a fee and he would come in when and if we need him."
The resolution also establishes a Board of Zoning Appeals, creates a county Codes Compliance Officer position, fixes the powers and duties of those entities, and providies for the adjustment, enforcement, and penalties for violation of the resolution.
The resolution would be known as the "Zoning Resolution of Cannon County, Tennessee."
Steakley said at one point he would have been opposed to zoning, but his view has changed. A former resident of Brentwood, he said he relocated to Cannon County because there were less restrictions. "I'm not there (Brentwood) anymore. I am here in beautiful Cannon County. I'm here because, one of the reasons, I love it here. I love the people here. I love the terrain. I love the landscape. I also loved the lack of restrictions.
"But the more I got involved in this, I understood that along with ... all this good that we have, there is some bad that can happen. So this resolution, after we have worked together, and (Upper Cumberland Development District Director of Economic and Community Development) Tommy Lee and I have traveled all of the main roads of this county, looking at the residential areas, the agricultural areas, the industrial areas. Everything you have right now will be grandfathered in, There will be no change with this resolution. What this resolution does, in my opinion, is conserve and protect the quality of life that we now enjoy. That was one of the stipulations that we had going in.
"The people of this county, the citizens of this county, the homeowners of this county must have a voice in how they want to zone this county," Steakley said.
John Hackett, who also serves on the planning commission, added, "Zoning protects this county and its quality of life. It is also an attraction to industry. Industry likes it because it is a known playing field for them. We want those jobs so people can come here and live and they don't have to travel an hour to go to a job. The zoning is what helps us do that.
This resolution, if adopted, can be changed by the county commission at any point in time, Steakley said.
REPORTER'S NOTE: The Zoning Resolution was one of the items discussed by the county commission at its July 15 meeting. Other items of business will be covered in a separate story.