by Councilman Bill Summers
Clarksville, TN – The council met in its usual first of the month meeting. While the agenda was not large, some topics were discussed in detail.
Here is the recap by topic:
New Zoning Ordinance Codes
The new zoning codes were voted on for the first time tonight. I have been a member of the zoning committee that started this almost 6 years ago. It is a massive upgrade of the old codes. The new rules and codes will go into effect at next month’s second vote. However, there had been a request by Councilman Burkhart and another developer representative or two to the zoning committee and Planning Commission to delay the change over on properties already zoned for three more years. This change had been incorporated in the draft we were to vote on. I understand if site development plans were underway, you would not want that cost and effort to go to waste to meet newly enacted codes. However, it takes much less time to get site development plans to the Planning Commission for approval and action. Thus, I offered an amendment to change the delay to one year. After that time all property zonings will transform to the new code. My amendment passed by a 10-yes and 2-no vote. Of course I voted yes.
Another amendment that I asked for dealt with the Mixed Used zoning code. Mixed Use encourages the mixing of different residential and commercial businesses together to develop a walkable or close connecting community. We have had an issue on a past request of Mixed Use in Ward 10. The requester had been turned down a year earlier for trying to change residential lots to office or commercial that were next door to new residential homes. On the next try they asked for Mixed Use on the same lots. I asked where was residential being included in their request. It wasn’t included. It became apparent that some developers would use Mixed Use to actually slip in commercial only hoping that the new zoning title would not alert the neighbors to the real intent. I officially requested that the Planning Staff work up amended language that would require some residential development in any requested Mixed Use zoning request. This will come before the council next month.
Also a request by a builder or two asked to place homes in R2 and R2A as close as 5 feet of the property boundary. They also want to shrink the size of the R2 lot from 9,000 to 7,500 sq.ft. (R2A is 6,000 sq.ft). The Planning Commission will revisit this and recommend a course of action next month for the council to vote on. I am against further shrinking of lot sizes or placing houses any closer together. The recent fire showed we need to look at lot sizing closely.
With the understanding that some changes will come to the council before the next vote and that over 98% of the new code is much better, the council voted 12-yes to approve the new zoning codes on the first vote.
The new rules by which the council will use iPads were up for a vote. Originally, I had requested that council members be held responsible for loss or deliberate damage. This worried another council member that honest accidents can happen so the payment for loss was deleted. Tonight I ask that the loss clause be reinstated with a suggested amendment by the Technology Department for our next council meeting. Thus, loss or deliberate damage will be back for the council to vote on next month. The Council approved the ordinance by a 12-yes first vote.
In other action:
The council passed a resolution by a 12-yes vote showing its support of homeowners that are fighting the proposed rock quarry near Exit 1.
Other Non-council Meeting News
The Liberty Park/Marina was open for a sneak peek today. Here is some info about the marina:
- The city will install a stoplight to control traffic at the entrance of the park.
- It will not cost anything to enter the park.
- It will not cost anything to use the picnic pavilions unless you wish to reserve one for a special event.
- Anyone can use the boat ramps to launch their boat.
- If you hear of any other wild rumors let me know and I will get you the facts.