The Giles County Regional Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting
June 1, 2021
Members in Attendance: Erin Curry, Chairperson, David Adams, Stoney Jackson, Malcolm Moore, Tamieka Russell, Tommy Pollard, Scott Stewart, John Haislip, Roger Reedy, Kristin Pfeiffer, Bill Myers. Other County Officer attendees: Melissa Greene, County Executive; Commissioners Joyce Woodard, Harold Brooks, Terry Harwell, Gayle Jones, and Mike Cesarini. County Attorney Lucy Henson; Members of the public attending: Connie Howell, Chris Morris, Tonya Holley, Avien Bost, Nellie Moore, Margie Haney, Wes Haddaway, Marlon Cooper, Glenda Cooper, Keith Bennett, Mathew Hopkins, Gerald Young, and Andy ,Audra, Drew, and Ben Edwards
Chairperson Erin Curry opened the meeting with Tommy Pollard providing the prayer and leading the pledge. There were no subdivision plats to be considered . Chairperson Curry stated that based on comments received on the Land Use Management Plan which is unenforceable as written and with that there are both Federal and State laws in effect that protect citizens in certain land use that it looks like the majority are in favor of rescinding the plan. She then turned over to Attorney Lucy Hensen to provide information on existing protections. Lucy thanked a member of the public, Jason Guthrie, for his written comments which had been provided to the Planning Commission. Lucy then mentioned several public acts which provide protection, e.g. air quality which has a board that adjudicates. The Jackson law which was passed here in 2003 covering landfills has been updated in 2013 with higher standards and should be updated, and which would need 2/3 vote to adopt. She mentioned the nuisance law which was adopted in 2003, but never had a regulatory scheme in place and it was repealed around 2020.
Commissioner Roger Reedy mentioned what some of the potential coverage through existing laws do not cover, e.g. set backs – how far off a road could some one place a business, quarry, strip joint, etc. Without protection your recourse could only be to sue and you probably would lose.
Lucy – after some discussion about knowing the full extent of existing coverage, she stated the problem with just rewriting the plan would require someone else such as a referral by Attorney Sam Edwards of the American Planning Association. That person would have considerable specific expertise in the laws and regulations of land use.
Commissioner Stoney Jackson then moved that the Land Use Management Plan be sent to the full Commission with the recommendation that the plan be funded for enforcement. Scott Stewart seconded. Discussion followed on the role of the Planning Commission (make recommendation to the full commission; per Lucy would require the County Executive function in the plan to be replaced by an enforcer; Stoney – would have to have an office with identification of dollars required; John – would be a long delay; question on according to Robert’s Rules of Order – can only someone with the prevailing previous vote can rescind; how that would work when all are no longer available; With that lengthy discussion on the uncertainty of what that funding might entail, Scott Stewart withdrew his second, and Stoney withdrew his motion.
Tommy Pollard then moved and John Haislip seconded that the recommendation be sent to the full commission that the plan should be rejected. Discussion ensured on how do we know how much the other laws protect us; some protection within businesses such as strip joints, but not where they could be located; remark on can’t keep them out but can regulate; Tamieka – this was not about telling people what they could do with their own property, rather thinking forward – what is our county going to look like. Joyce – put together the comments, what is liked /disliked and bring back to Planning Commission. Erin – received comments from 10 of 11 members with 6 of 10 – get rid of it.
Tmmy Pollard was asked to restate his motion, on rescinding the current Land Use Management Plan and sending that recommendation to the full Commission. He made that motion with John Haislip seconding. The vote was 6 – 5 approved with Roger Reedy, Bill Myers, Kristen Pfeiffer, Tamieka Russell and Scott Stewart voting no.
Chairperson Erin Curry asked if any Old Business (no); any New Business?
Stoney Jackson mentioned a discussion from the recent conference in Gatlinburg where a new subdivision regulation was discussed pertaining to bonds given for roads while under construction. He noted that bond would be held until the last house was finished. Erin said this would be placed on the next meeting agenda. She further stated there would not be a July meeting but rather August the 3rd in the courthouse annex would be the next meeting
Tommy Pollard moved for adjournment; John Haislip seconded. Approved.