Monteagle Planning: Long-Debated Questions Reach Closure

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Oct. 5 meeting, the Monteagle Planning Commission reached closure on several long-debated zoning issues, one dating back more than a year. The commission approved a zoning amendment allowing single family homes on residential R-3 property, as well as an amendment allowing residential nonconforming uses on commercial C-1 and C-2 property upon review. The council also resolved two of three concerns related to Lakeside Collision’s proposed site plan.

The amendment to the R-3 zoning ordinance governing multi-family dwellings expanded the allowed uses to include single family homes, duplexes, double-wide mobile homes and temporary dwelling units. Building inspector Earl Geary said the R-3 ordinance formerly allowed only single family homes.

The residential nonconforming uses amendment allows for existing single-family dwellings on C-1 and C-2 property to be reconstructed. The Monteagle City Council previously considered the amendment. Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman said Alderman Nate Wilson argued the amendment should require case-by-case review before homeowners with residences on C-1 and C-2 property modified their dwellings. The amendment as revised requires approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Taking up Lakeside Collision site plan questions, which initially came before the commission under the previous administration, Geary said a committee comprised of him, town planner Garret Haynes, city attorney Sam Elliot, reached three conclusions. One, the site plan street yard (i.e., setback) needed to be increased from 5 feet to 10 feet to comply with ordinance requirements; two, owner Christian Ojeda should request rezoning from C-3 to C-2, or develop a landscaping plan in keeping with C-3 requirements; and, three, the Board of Zoning Appeals should rule on whether a chain link fence covered with screening material met the city’s screening fence requirement.

“He [Ojeda] says he purchased the fence under prior direction…but there’s no documentation or recording [showing that],” Rodman observed.

The commission also approved the final plat for a remodel project at the Laura Gifford residence, which required moving the property line to meet setback requirements, and the request of Jason Tate to rezone a five-acre tract from R-3 to C-2.

Tate said he had cleared three of the five acres in the tract, located on the corner of Ingman Road and Highway 41, and hoped to build a 6,000 square foot structure to house his screen-printing business. Tate employs three people at his current location in Tracy City. Rodman pointed out zoning ordinances required a public hearing for rezoning and that Tate post signage announcing the request to rezone.

“It makes sense for any property that adjoins the highway to be C-2,” Geary said. Russell observed the city recently rezoned the Colston property, also located on Highway 41.

Revisiting the discussion about when the commission required a site plan, Geary said commercial development needed a site plan for two circumstances: one, the footprint of an existing structure changed; two, new development of the property which involved a different use from the current use. Geary explained an extant barber shop business becoming a beauty shop business would not require a site plan, but a barber shop becoming a convenience market would. Russel noted all commercial site plans required landscaping plans.

At the close of the meeting, structural engineer Jim Waller presented the commission with documentation and photographs showing muddy water from the proposed RBT truck stop site entering storm drains and polluting Hidden Creek and Laurel Lake. Waller presented the same documentation of mud pollution to the Monteagle City Council at the Sept. 27 meeting.

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