Lewisburg codes getting an update

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Lewisburg's law on land use is being repaired now more frequently than most town codes are in a lifetime.

It may only seem that way because the state has assigned a fourth planning adviser to the city during the year when a new codes enforcement officer has been on board and two new members of the planning commission are learning their responsibilities.

Planning Commissioner Karen Stoltz is the newest member of the panel, and last month she was named its secretary. Councilman Robin Minor was elected last May and has since become a commissioner.

"I've had four (state-contracted) planners in a year," said Codes Director Greg Lowe who, himself, has been a city employee for about a year now.

The Tennessee Depart-ment of Economic and Community Development has a Local Planning Office to help cities without a planning department. Three of the state planners who've helped here either took jobs elsewhere or in another office with TDEC. They were Bryan Collins, Tracy Childress and Lisa Keylon.

Kristin Castanzo is the current TDEC employee assigned to Lewisburg.

With seven people examining the zoning ordinance, questions have been raised and idiosyncrasies have been revealed, according to the city codes director, who has raised questions resulting from his routine work.

For Lowe, some of the mystery of the code involved the city garage. It's on land that is classified for residential use. Corrections are being made, but there's still a notation in property records that indicate the land is "exempt" from zoning. The reference, Lowe indicated, might be misplaced since public property is tax exempt.

Then, an anomaly may arise simply because someone like David Sullivan wants to open an antique shop at 337 Franklin Ave. Sullivan's building is in a triangle of city blocks just west of Marshall County's Hardison Annex building that includes the election office. Some nearby land is zoned for such a shop. Sullivan's isn't. A change for Sullivan is being considered by the City Council this month, and it's led to rezoning ordinances for 323 Franklin Ave., and 504 Fourth Ave. from residential to com....PICKUP A COPY OF TODAY'S EDITION FOR FULL STORY!