County Planners Review Potential Zoning Policies

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Implementing zoning policies and procedures for any county or city is a lengthy process, but Tuesday night (April 24) the Cannon County Planning Commission started reviewing potential Land Use Plan Policies for Cannon County.

The draft is the backbone of zoning ordinances. Upper Cumberland Human Resource Management Planner Shannon Copas worked up several policies for the Commission to look at.

Some of the possible Industrial Land Use Policies include specifying that sign standards for industrial zoning districts shall be developed and incorporated within a zoning resolution and that the county should support all practical efforts, both public and private, to maintain and improve existing industrial site locations.

Copas advised taking out the adoption and implementation policy of the International Building Codes of the Land Use Policy. He said it should be indicated in the zoning ordinances. The Commission felt it was necessary to remove it altogether until they could study up on the International Building Codes.

Another step Copas recommended was including in the county budget funding for additional personnel such as the salaries, supplies, office space and other expenses of a fully operational Zoning Compliance Officer, charged with the administration and enforcement of county-wide zoning codes. Enforcement is the key to making the zoning policies and plans work, he said.

Copas used the public use plan that he put together as part of a guideline to help the Commission get the paperwork in motion for zoning procedures in Cannon County.

Following the various changes to the plan which were discussed Tuesday night, Copas will now draft a more detailed Land Use Plan for the Commission to consider during its June meeting.

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Members Opinions:
April 29, 2012 at 9:59am
Hopefully, such plans will be made public before they are voted on. Citizens have a right to know. Will such policies limit where certain industrial/business pursuits can be located? Will such policies protect the natural resources and beauty of Cannon County? Can they prevent undesirable industries/or businesses from locating in Cannon County? Will they induce and invite more desirable businesses to locate here? Will they govern private land use development? Will they protect historic/heritage resources? Will they promote regulations toward existing businesses/industries?
April 30, 2012 at 7:57am
Not meaning to be argumentative, but define undesirable. We do need more businesses, industrial included. I do agree there are some that we wouldn't want.
April 30, 2012 at 10:36am
I think if we were to actually get a business to look toward locating in Cannon County then several steps could be taken to ensure it would be beneficial to both the business, the citizens and the environment of Cannon County.

I have posted this before, but I believe it is worth restating. The Commissioners / County Executive should have a business plan in place with incentives to create the positive outcome everyone wants. For example:

1. Tax breaks for the company if they hire 75% of their work force from within the borders of Cannon County.

2. Tax breaks when the company reaches a specific hourly rate for those employees. In other words when 75% of the workforce makes $12.00 an hour then the company would get a break.

3. Tax breaks to encourage the environment around their building be maintained and the maintenance of the building be maintained.

4. Tax breaks for community involvement. For example supporting locals sports programs, educational programs, Senior Citizens Center, Arts Center, etc.

5. Tax breaks for length of time in the community. 10 years, 15 years, etc. gets a better rate.

All of these things would help us and the company if it chose to build and create jobs here.

But, the doubtful side of me comes out because it will never happen as long as we have so little to offer them.

We desperately need a building, water, sewage, land, telecommunications and someone to actually go out and be a hound dog and work toward making all of that happen.

Unfortunately, none of which we currently have.
April 30, 2012 at 10:48am
Excellent ideas Corey.
April 30, 2012 at 1:57pm
We are a farming community that is turning into a bedroom communtity. First, I believe, we need policies that will support this transition while doing everything possible to maintain the rural lifestyle we have all grown to love.
April 30, 2012 at 9:18pm
The reason we have become a bedroom community is because we keep governing and thinking like it is the 1950's trying to maintain that "rural lifestyle" while living in the 21st century. People commute to other places to work simply because there is no other place to work here in our own community.

I was born here, raised here, lived here my entire life and love it better than any person I know. I am passionate about Cannon County and the people and the environment and everything about it. But, I refuse to live in the idea that we can't make changes to our community because it is a bad thing or we will lose some of who we are if we allow something different.

I am all for zoning laws. I have been preaching it for years to no avail until we got a grand canyon sized hole in our front door and now everyone is riding that bandwagon.
But, zoning laws are not going to cure all of the problems we face. They are simply just one piece of the larger puzzle.

We have to start thinking outside of the rural box and start looking toward what we face in the future.

We have schools that are 40, 50 and 60 years old. We have no industry to support building a new school. We have no plan to entice industry, no building to put someone in and 94 other counties all trying to get the same thing we are and 80% of them have a whole lot better idea of how to approach it.

So that means higher property taxes and a wheel tax sticker until the end of time if we want to build a school.

We cannot continue to govern or think about the things that are affecting us today and not look toward tomorrow or we will become a "dead community" if we don't.

May 01, 2012 at 8:12am
There is no shame or backwardness in being a bedroom community. My family works outside Cannon County as most do and the comute is not bad. I know people who live and work in Rutherford county and it takes them as long if not longer to comute to their work.

I do wish we could stay as we are but you are correct in the fact that you must prepare for changing times and change with them or they will consume you.

Many comunities in this nation have been very sucessful as bedroom comunities in both rural and urban settings. If we must explode in growth I would prefer to see the county where my grandchildren will probably be raised to be more like say Franklin than Syrmna.

My point before is since, as you pointed out, we dont have the infrastructure to support industries and the fact that people are moving to our county (retirees and thoes employed in neighboring counties) our second priorty in codes should be to address residental growth (i.e building codes and restrictions, impact fees ,increased water and sewer). Our first priorty should be to make sure those undesirable hole digging industries are keep out. Then we should make plans to help promote less intrusive industry with good jobs.
May 01, 2012 at 2:21pm
I agree that I wish we could stay the same and I do promote that idea up to the point that it does not keep us from progressing toward the 21st century or keep us from receiving benefits through change.

A prime example of that would be the school system setup that we currently have. It is outdated and ineffective and antiquated. But, getting people to change the mindset of continuing to fund six grammar schools at a cost of $800,000 per school simply because of tradition is like trying to pull teeth. Despite the known benefits such as cost savings, greater educational opportunities, logistics, sports programs, etc. etc. people just want to hold on because of basketball or because they don’t want to drive five minutes longer or because they went to that school and want their kids to go to that school even though it is 50 years old.

Getting the powers that be to move past the idea of saying "I don't want anyone to come tell me what I can do with my property" took as I said above a Grand Canyon size hole in our front door before they had a sudden revelation that zoning laws were needed and realized what I had been preaching was not because I wanted to hear myself talk, it was because that philosophy worked both ways.
It is true without zoning laws no one can tell you what to do with your property, but you can’t tell them what to do with theirs either. That is why we have one of the Seven Wonders of the World sitting right outside of the city limits.
The school system is no different and the outcome will be no different no matter how much people want to hold on to it unless we start to look forward instead of backwards.

I agree with your assessment of the codes. We should work on keeping / restricting a porn business or a 200 foot advertising billboard from being placed on the square from happening and then work on residential codes.

Personally, I would like to see multiple things being worked on. I think it is possible to work on creating jobs / attracting businesses while working on zoning laws.
Both are needed and they were both needed yesterday!
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