Elizabethton Planning Commission denies shopping center request

John Thompson • Apr 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM

ELIZABETHTON —After three months of deliberation, the Elizabethton Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to deny approval for a subdivision proposal from developer Daniel Lewis for his small shopping center at 1201 U.S. Highway 19E.

Lewis had proposed at last month’s meeting to convert the shops and offices from rental spaces into condominium units, which would be owned individually by the shop owners. Lewis said similar subdivisions have been done in Johnson City.

On Tuesday, Elizabethton Planning Director Jon Hartman said he had met with Steve Nielsen of the Johnson City Planning Department. Hartman said he also has met with Lewis, but he had no new draft documents for his subdivision plan. Lewis did not attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Planner Dena Bass made the motion to deny Lewis’ subdivision request.

The planners also deferred action on a proposed special event banner ordinance.

In making the motion to defer the matter, Bass said the special event banner went against the city’s current sign ordinance. She said she was in favor of making changes to the sign ordinance, which several members of the Planning Commission and the City Council have called unfriendly to business.

“I think until we revisit our sign ordinance ... we should defer this,” Bass said. Her motion was unanimously passed.

The planners approved the five-year Capital Improvement Program/Budget presented by Hartman.

This is the first year for Hartman to work with the Capital Improvement Plan and he said the fact that he only had a few months from the time he was appointed full-time director and the short time he had to interact with department heads led him to make only minor revisions. He said he planned a more extensive review of the document next year.

Some of the biggest items on the plan are a $4 million public safety building for the Elizabethton Police Department. The Fire Department also is projecting a $1.8 million expenditure for a 10,000-square-foot headquarters building.

The plan also includes the $5.5 million proposed stadium and field house at Elizabethton High School and a $1.75 million, eight-classroom addition and improvements to T.A. Dugger Junior High School.

The plan also includes major projects in the city’s water and waste water infrastructure, including $1 million for the main waterline from Hampton Springs and $1.9 million for the water loss reduction project. On the waste water side, there is a $2.3 million project for the wastewater plant and dewatering building upgrade.

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