Rezoning approved despite appeals

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

After weeks of controversy, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday night approved an ordinance rezoning the property at 1107 Village Drive from R-1, residential, to C-3, commercial. The property is near LeConte Medical Center.

The ordinance passed on third reading, so it will go into effect. It was supported by the owners of Pro Therapy, a physical therapy facility next to the property. They will use it for parking.

Neighbors protested the ordinance on Monday, as they did when it received second reading in January. They were represented by attorney Brian Mansfield, who spoke during the public forum.

Mansfield presented a petition signed by nearby property owners. He also showed the board the subdivision's original plat, which, he said, designates the property as residential only. Commercial use "is not what was intended," he said.

Neighbors told the board about noise from Pro Therapy, and one said the rezoning would affect property values. "That's our investment," he said, referring to neighbors' houses.

A Pro Therapy co-owner, Chuck Nave, spoke in favor of the rezoning. "We want to be good citizens," he said.

The board passed the ordinance unanimously.

In other business, the board approved a motion setting its next meeting for Feb. 25. The meeting had been scheduled for Feb. 18, Presidents' Day. The motion cancels the March 4 meeting, which conflicts with the Tennessee Municipal League's legislative conference in Nashville. The motion also moves the start time of BOMA meetings from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The board also approved:

- On third and final reading, an ordinance amending the fiscal year 2012 budget

- On second reading, an ordinance annexing land for Northview Academy, currently under construction

- A Tennessee Department of Transportation agreement for safety improvements on New Era Road. The city will spend $8,775 more on the project

- Landing and takeoff of Huey helicopters at the Sevierville Events Center during Welcome Home from Vietnam, April 16-17

- An agreement with the Smoky Mountain Youth Baseball Association

- Online utility bill payments. As part of the project, Sevierville chief financial officer Lynn McClurg recommended eliminating the $1 transaction fee for customers who use credit cards. The board voted to keep the fee

- $19,045 for repairs at the Family Aquatic Center

- Expenses in excess of $5,000