Planners Seek Help In Forming Zoning Plan

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A recommendation will be made to Cannon County Commissioners at their December meeting for approval to utilize a planning service after the Cannon County Planning Commission voted unanimously to make the request Tuesday night.

Planning Commissioners Thad Raines, David George, Carey Hutchins, Brenda Phillips, Jimmy Mingle and Chairman Boyd Barker were in attendance at the meeting.

Shannon Copas, a planner with the Upper Cumberland Development District, was on hand and discussed planning services and the hot topic of zoning.

Copas advised the Planning Commission that a zoning plan is a very complex issue.

Copas provides planning services all around the Upper Cumberland. Only two counties in the 14-county Upper Cumberland District have zoning in place. Those counties consist of Smith and Macon County. However, several towns and cities within the various counties have zoning plans, including Woodbury.

Copas said that the best way to put together zoning ordinances is to have the County Planning Commission draw up and adopt a land use plan. This plan can be adopted without the permission of the County Commission. The land use plan directs future growth, usually within a 20-year period.

Drawing up a zoning plan usually is a one-year process on average for towns and cities. Copas estimates that it would take about a year and a half for Cannon County. 

Copas also stressed that the county would need to hire someone to enforce zoning, whether it be a zoning enforcement officer or building inspector. This could be a part-time position however, as the county could contract with neighboring county enforcement officers or building inspectors.

The role of a planning service would be to help draw up the land use plan and zoning plans and ordinances. The County Planning Commission would then make a recommendation to the Cannon County Commission for approval of the zoning plan.

After Copas answered several questions, the Planning Commissioners then voted to make the recommendation to utilize a planning service to the Cannon County Commissioners at their next monthly meeting on December 13.

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