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Putnam Planning Defers Decision On Traffic Study Requirement

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Planning Defers Decision On Traffic Study Requirement

Putnam County Regional Planning Commission deferred action on establishing a tiered traffic study requirement for future developments citing a desire to simplify the regulation.

The need to create such an option comes as a result of a newly-established state law that prohibits regional and municipal planning commissions from requiring certain things from developers as conditions of approval. Putnam County Attorney Jeff Jones:

“If it’s ever challenged in court then the Regional Planning Commission will have to have some sort of documentation, some sort of backup to substantiate the reason for why they required a developer to dedicate that much property,” Jones said. “That’s what this is about.”

During the public comment period, the commission heard concerns from developers and citizens as to how this would affect the development process.

Developer Taylor Dillehay said he had concerns that when implementing strict rules such as this, pushes development outside of Putnam County.

“I look at the Putnam County Planning regulations and it says I have to do X, Y, Z, and then I go to Overton County and I look at Rickman and I look at Overton County planning regulations and they say bring us 50 lots we’d love to have them,” Dillehay said. “Then what we  are doing is looking at pushing development into other counties to generate more tax dollars for them for those people to still come here every day, and use our infrastructure.”

Jones said that although Putnam County is one of the first to look into establishing a regulation of this nature, does not mean that other counties will not follow.

“This isn’t something we dreamed up to implement just out of thin air,” Commissioner David Mattson said. “This is in response to laws passed by the state legislature that force us to have some sort of program in place to determine the dedication of the property off-site. This isn’t something we want to do, we don’t want to purposefully increase the cost, we were very cognizant of that in our discussions trying to come up with a tiered system such that smaller developers would have a smaller impact analysis, larger developments would have a traffic study.”

Jones said that CTAS is also looking into how to form a plan that could be applied statewide, but is also struggling with the right solution. The planning commission will discuss an updated version of the traffic study regulation at its April meeting.


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