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Zoning Appeal to Be Heard Next Week

by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

During last night's meeting, the Bradley County Commission heard from Doug Matthew's, owner of Matthew's Pool and Spa. The business is physically located on Keith Street, but Matthew's stated that he is having issues with parking work trucks on his personal property. Matthew's wishes to park his business trucks on the property and meet his employees at this location in the mornings. This would entail the employees leaving their personal vehicles on the lot during the work day and then returning the work trucks at the end of the shift.

Over the past 3 years, Matthew's, a former Bradley County Commissioner, has been charged for commercial taxes on his property, even though it is zoned as FAR. He came before the Planning Commission to request the property be rezoned to commercial so that there were no issues with the trucks being parked there and the tax rate. Several area residents oppose the rezoning, saying Matthew's is going to put a junk yard on the lot. He states this is not the case and he needs it simply as a place to park his work trucks and equipment, then as a meeting and transfer place for his employees.

The commission will have a public hearing for those who wish to come speak before them on the matter next week.

Prior to the zoning discussion, Charlotte Scott came to make a request from the commission. Scott is from a local organization that wishes to place a blue star marker in front of the Bradley County Courthouse. This marker would honor all veterans and military personnel. The marker would come at a price of $2100. Mayor Gary Davis had received a letter earlier from Scott and forwarded her request for funding on to the Finance Committee. The majority of the money is coming in through donations, but additional help may be needed and the commission would need to approve the placement of the marker since it would be on county property.

Mayor Davis also requested that a tax rate be set. With the passing of the budget, with no tax increase, Davis said that it's time for the commission to pass a resolution setting the tax rate with no increase.

Also discussed was the prospect of potentially redistricting Bradley County to cut the number of commissioners. Bradley County currently has 7 districts, represented by 2 commissioners for each district. If the districts are split to 9 instead of 7, the number of commissioners would be cut to one per district. Commissioners Jeff Yarber and Jeff Morelock wished to entertain the idea and gather more information to see if it would be more beneficial. Others disagreed and Commissioner Mel Griffith placed a resolution on next week's agenda to retain the current districting methods.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, August 1st at 7 p.m. in the Bradley County Courthouse.