BOMA passes contentious zoning ordinance

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 11:58 PM

Tuesday night at the Sevierville Civic Center, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen passed, on second reading, a zoning ordinance that was the topic of disagreement during the meeting's public forum.

The ordinance rezones a Village Drive property from R-1, residential, to C-3, intermediate commercial. The land is next to Pro Therapy Solutions, a physical therapy business whose owners want to use the rezoned property for parking.

The rezoning will take effect if the board passes the ordinance on third reading.

During the public forum, Sevierville's Judy Spiezio spoke on behalf of some residents who live near the Village Drive property. "We are against that zoning," Spiezio said. "We have many people adjoining the property who do not want it to be commercial. We know a commercial entity purchased the property, but we feel it should continue residential."

A Pro Therapy Solutions co-owner, Chuck Nave, spoke in favor of the rezoning. "We need additional parking, but we don't want to do anything to upset anyone," he said. "We don't want to have patients inconvenienced."

In response to a question from Vice Mayor Devin Koester, Nave said he was not opposed to putting in shrubs or other buffer material. Responding to a query from Alderwoman Maxine Ownby, Nave said that in the short term, Pro Therapy Solutions would not work with patients on the property. Following up, Ownby asked about the long term. "Five years, plus, maybe," Nave said.

In other business, Mayor Bryan Atchley said the board's next meeting, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21, will be canceled for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. The meeting scheduled for Monday, Feb. 18, Presidents Day, will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The board also approved:

-  On second reading, an ordinance amending the fiscal year 2012 budget to account for items that exceeded it

- On first reading, an ordinance annexing land for Northview Academy

- Bid specifications for replacing the bowling center software. Parks director Bob Parker said new bowling software could cost $75,000 to $100,000, which made some board members shudder

- Removing trolleys from the fleet for surplus

kburns@themountainpress.com