Downtown Dwellers In Violation Of City Code

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Walter Alexander, left, Sue Patrick and Mayor Harold Patrick listen to discussion during Tuesday's meeting of the Woodbury Planning Commission.
Tuesday night the Woodbury Planning Commission met in regular session. Those present were Chairman James Barrett, Joe Hawkins, Dottie Duggin, Bill Jennings, Walter Alexander, Sue Patrick and Mayor Harold Patrick. Representative of the State of Tennessee as an advisor was Charles Brown who is always present during the meetings as well as the County Planning Commission.

Before adopting last meeting's minutes, Sue Patrick addressed the commission about the warehousing or storage in any empty building on the square. The city’s policies prohibit an unoccupied building from becoming a storage area not incidental to the business itself. Mrs. Patrick wanted to insure that the city was correct before approaching the businesses about the infraction.

Also in the same line there is a city ordinance about living in a commercial building on a bottom floor of the building that is on the square. The old pool room was the building in question. About three years ago the owners or renters wanted permission to be able to live in the building, which doesn’t have an upstairs, until they could remodel it. That has not happened as of yet. The commission will be bringing this to the attention of the owners, possibly with the help of the city police to tell them that they are in violation of the city code.

The last meetings minutes were then approved. Chairman Barrett brought up to the members that while the city inspector is getting his money for inspecting new buildings to keep them in line with the code, the city is only getting three dollars. Barrett asked if there was a way to help cover the cost that the city might spend. Sue Patrick and Joe Hawkins made a motion to ask the city council if there was a way that they could initiate some sort of fee so the city could charge when a new building or add-on is built. It was recommended that there be a $25.00 fee set.

Tim Gentry of the Smith funeral home was in the meeting asking if the funeral home and its property could be rezoned a C3, which would then allow them to put a sign on the outer wall of the funeral home facing John Bragg Highway. The Cannon Community Church has letters showing their name. Mr. Gentry said that there are so many new people coming into the county and they don’t know where anything is (if it is off of the main street). Smith wants to be allowed to use 30 inches letters to mark their business. The building is 350 feet from the highway, whereas the Church is approximately half of that, the church uses 18 inch tall letters. Mayor Patrick made the motion for the change with Walter Alexander seconding it, the motion passed.

Sam Kidd from the firm of Barge, Wagner, Sumner and Cannon addressed the commission to make sure that if will be permissible to build a new house for Alice Pinkerton on the same lot as her home is. The reason for the request is because the city’s policy is that all new construction will have 15 feet on both sides of the house between that house and another. The houses up on East Water Street that were built before the policy was set only have a small distance between them now. The house that Alice lives in is 24 foot wide; the new house being built will be 22 feet wide with a one foot over hang on both sides. However, being 24 feet wide with the overhangs will not interfere in travel between the two houses.

Mrs. Pinkerton had applied for rehabilitation of her house when a THDA grant became available. The State awarded so much money to facilitate rehabilitations of some houses. Woodbury received $300,000.00, Kidd advises the city that Ms. Pinkerton’s house is not one that would benefit from rehabilitation that it will have to be torn down and a new one built there in its place.

Charles Brown advised the commission and the builder that this easement issue must be put in the paper at least 15 days before the next meeting. They agreed to get the wording in an announcement into the Cannon Courier as soon as possible. The builder told the commission that this is not a fancy house, just a plain comfortable house. Congratulations to Alice Pinkerton.

The residents of Auburn Hills are asking that street lights be put up in their area. The problem is that the electrical utilities are all underground and there were no provisions made to put up lights. The original contractors chose not to put in any lighting and the people who bought the houses new that there wasn’t any.

The commission was not in the mindset to put in any of the lighting, but they did say they would research the possibility of making the requirement for all subdivisions to have street lighting in the future. As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned after an hour and five minutes.
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