City planning commission considers apartment amendment
Published 8:53 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015
At Tuesday’s Regional Planning Commission meeting, commissioners discussed the potential effects of sending an amendment to Title 14 to allow for accessory apartment buildings in an R-1 (single-family home) zone.
The issue was first raised in September when a citizen made a request to build an apartment on his property for his mother-in-law.
The request was discussed at last month’s meeting regarding what would happen with the home and apartment years down the road when the property had a new owner. Commissioners debated whether the apartment could be rented and whether or not other residents living in R-1 zones would make similar requests.
Utilities, driveways and tax status were also discussed, and commissioners decided to create a policy subcommittee to review the proposed amendment. The subcommittee will include Vice-Chair Dena Bass, and Commissioners Vicky Manuel and Ron Kirby.
“When you look at both sides of it, there are advantages and disadvantages, but you almost need something,” said Manuel. She said it’s just a matter of determining which direction to go with the issue.
Elizabethton Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman noted the importance of accommodating a higher density population within city limits. Over time, he said, the increased tax revenue, utilities revenue and diversified population would make the city more prosperous. He said the city already has the utilities to accommodate a growing population.
Chairman Paul Bellamy agreed, that with structural improvements, the city could accommodate more.
If the amendment passes, it will be regarded as a special exception, meaning it will be allowed in some areas, if the property, utilities, driveway, parking and traffic flow are suited for an accessory apartment.
In other business, the commission approved the final site plan for Tetrick Funeral Home to establish a crematorium on property at 211 N. Riverside Dr. An existing building on the property would be remodeled to house the new crematorium.