Monteagle Planning Recommends Zoning Rules Amendment

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the June 2 meeting, the Monteagle Planning Commission voted to recommend the Monteagle City Council take up two zoning issues. One recommendation would amend the zoning ordinance pertaining to nonconforming uses and structures. The other recommendation called for rezoning a residential lot from R-3 to R-1.

Town planner Garret Haynes proposed amending the “nonconforming uses and structures” zoning ordinance to address Frank Maxwell’s request. At the May 4 meeting, Maxwell asked to rezone his property from C-2 commercial to R-2 residential to allow him to add on to his home and build two accessory structures. The commission deferred action on the request to investigate possible complications (See Messenger May 7, 2021).

Haynes said he initially favored the rezoning, but had reconsidered his position given that the property was located in a commercial corridor. “It doesn’t make sense to rezone this property from C-2 to R-2,” Haynes explained. “I’d recommend amending the zoning ordinance Section 1105 for nonconforming uses and structures to permit existing residential structures to expand on their house and build accessory structures…this isn’t a rare amendment to a zoning ordinance.”

The other zoning issues addressed Jerry Van Hooser’s request to rezone his South Central Avenue lot from R-3 to R-1. Building inspector Earl Geary said the 100-by-125 foot lot “was not big enough for a condo or any kind of multi-family dwelling” of the type permitted by R-3 zoning.

The commission reviewed the benchmarks required for rezoning the Van Hooser property and found them satisfied. The Monteagle Council will hold public hearings when it takes up the two planning commission recommendations.

In other business, the commission approved the site plan for Cooley’s Rift lots 1-8 and lots 2-4, with the approval for lots 2-4 pending certification signatures.

Geary brought to the commission’s attention a request by a Clifftops subdivision property owner to build a personal storage garage on commercial property across the highway from Clifftops. Haynes pointed out that commercial zoning “allows for self-storage facilities for self-storage businesses,” but it was questionable whether that included self-storage buildings for personal use. Haynes recommended the property owner take the request to the Board of Zoning Appeals to determine what “self-storage” means.

The commission denied a request by Dean Lay to rezone a property from C-2 commercial to R-3 residential to allow for the construction of apartments or condominiums since Lay was not present to answer questions. Commissioner Richard Black noted allowing residential construction in the center of a commercial corridor could lead to future problems similar to the current objections to the proposed truck stop.