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Jackson County Commission Discuss Drawbacks Of Possible Planning Commission

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson County Commission Discuss Drawbacks Of Possible Planning Commission

Jackson County Commissioners raised questions about project delays, water and sewer requirements, transferring land, and what projects would be covered in discussing the idea of a planning commission.

Commissioners heard from UCDD Planning and Community Development Director Tommy Lee as the county begins the process of exploring whether a planning commission would make sense. The growth of larger developments in the county led to the discussion.

“If you adopt subdivision regulations in Jackson County, from that day forward, any division of property under 5 acres is going to be guaranteed to have road frontage, either public water or big enough to drill a well, and then a perc for a septic system,” Lee said. “That’s a guarantee.”

Lee said there are drawbacks, including increased costs and time necessary for developers. Lee said the regulations are also universal.

“You can’t pick and choose which parcels that are getting divided come in front of the planning commission. From the developer out of Nashville who’s coming in and buying 50 acres and wanting to make 100 lots to the 75-year-old man who wants to cut off an acre for his grandson and granddaughter.”

County Commissioner Kevin Cummins said he thinks it would have a negative impact on the county.

“I just don’t think it’s the right thing for our county,” Cummins said. “I’m gonna say that early ’cause I’ve already kind of made my, I’m a real estate broker in Cookeville. I see what it does to a lot of places, and Jackson County’s a very different community. We’re not like those others. We don’t have that kind of land like they have either.”

Lee said that planning commissions are created by the county legislative body, and members are nominated by the county mayor before being confirmed by the county commission. Private citizens must make up a majority of the commission.

“While the county legislature creates the PC and confirms the membership, the planning committee is the sole authority with regards to the subdivision regulations,” Lee said.

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