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Residents Won't Be Receiving Airspace Compensation
by Ashley Murphy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Bradley County Planning Commission held a public hearing to listen to concerns of citizens regarding compensation for airspace above their property. County Planner Corey Divel briefed the commission on the requests of residents. Residents asked for the commission to either un-adopt the airspace zoning regulations or reimburse property owners 2-4% of their property values for use of airspace.

County Attorney Joe Byrd stated that his research returned no documentation of any county or municipality in the State of Tennessee ever compensating homeowners for use of airspace above their property. This was also researched by State Aeronautics division and returned no documentation.

Byrd only found three different ways for the compensation to be justified and those are as follows:

1. Avigation easement or a straight forward buyout of the property.
2. Eminent domain.
3. Inverse condemndation.

Divel continued research as well and said law states there is no compensation based on zoning alone.

After hearing several residents from the Royal Oaks subdivision in the Tasso area where the airport is going to be built, a motion was put on the floor. It stated that based on legal information given, there is no reason to modify zoning regulations at this time. The motion passed with two members, Darrell Sneed and Mel Griffith, voting no.

The recommendation will now be presented before the Bradley County Commission during their work session on Monday, January 11th for further discussion.

Divel also asked that anyone with questions of any kind regarding zoning, airspace zoning or zoning connected to the new airport to please come by his office or give him a call at 423-728-7108. Divel is located on the first floor of the Post Office Annex. The entrance to the Planning Commission office is located on 1st Street, across from the Bradley County Courthouse.