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Putnam Planning Commission Work On Agreement For Future Development Requirements

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam Planning Commission Work On Agreement For Future Development Requirements

Putnam County Planning Commission considering the potential for Road Supervisor Randy Jones and developers to work together earlier in the development process.

It’s an effort to deal with new mandates that prohibit cities and counties from requiring developers to upgrade infrastructure as a condition for plat approval. During a work session Thursday, County Attorney Jeff Jones presented a more scaled-back option that would implement a paid traffic study if the two sides could not agree.

“So if the county road supervisor believes that whatever he and the developer can work out and that meets the nexus and proportionality test as far as he’s concerned,” Jones said. “Then it shouldn’t be a problem for regional planning.”

Jones said he believes the traffic study will only be used in rare instances and most of the time, developments will not reach that step, but that it is important to be transparent moving forward and make sure the developers know exactly what is expected of them.

Jones said the road supervisor would only have jurisdiction over concerns with county roads. He said if there are concerns with other parts of the proposed plat, such as engineering issues or lot lines, the decision and authority fall to the board.

“The deal is, we agree with the opposition and this is not something we’re really wanting to do, but it’s something that we have to and we don’t really have a choice because of the new law that went into effect in July of ’22, we’re going to have to do something,” Jones said. “And what was presented at the last planning meeting was just the start. And so to recap what I think we’re trying to accomplish with the work session here today is to try and meet the nexus and proportionality test (…) to make this a little more user-friendly.”

Commissioner Ted McWilliams said that coming from the real estate and development side, he was initially concerned about what the plans were when it came to this law because it could push growth to outside the county. He said it is important to balance controlled growth and money coming into the county.

“I think most people hit the headline of ‘traffic study required? Oh my gosh,” McWilliams said. “But I think if we as a committee and individuals and the news and all the rest can just say, listen, we’ve had unprecedented growth, a traffic study is for those isolated cases in which a road, county road, county roads may not be able to handle large developments. We’re going to put into play levels of checks and balances with the road supervisor to take a majority of those cases to an agreement before it  even gets to us.”

The commission will consider the updated agreement at its April meeting.


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