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John Thompson

Elizabethton Bureau Chief
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Veteran planner honored during his last meeting

September 7th, 2011 11:41 am by John Thompson

ELIZABETHTON — The Elizabethton Planning Commission said farewell to on Tuesday to the man who has directed the city’s planning department for three decades.
David Ornduff is retiring after 42 years of public service. He has served as director of planning for Elizabethton since December 1979.
The Planning Commission gave him a standing ovation Tuesday after Mayor Curt Alexander read a resolution honoring Ornduff for his many years of service to the city and the Planning Commission.
It was an emotional moment for Ornduff, who said “this is the first time in my life I was ever at a loss for words.” He then went on to thank all of those citizens who have served on the commission down through the years, he also thanked his staff, especially his assistant Marie Blevins and Jon Hartman, who will serve as interim director beginning in October.
As part of his final efforts, Ornduff distributed two draft plans to the commission. The first was the Community Facilities Plan, which he said was an important component of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. He said its adoption will provide bonus points for a Recreation Trails Program grant being prepared by the planning staff.
“I think this is a great plan and a lot of work has gone into it,” planner Dena Bass said. Fellow planner Paul Bellamy said “I think it is a good tool for the city.” He made the motion to adopt the plan, which was approved unanimously.
Ornduff told the commissioners the plan was a draft and could be changed as the members saw fit, including changing the priorities.
Other plans presented to the planners included the Growth Management Plan, which looks at areas within the urban growth boundaries and the areas of the planning region, and the Corridor Plan for the Gap Creek Highway Project.
During the regular business, the planners unanimously approved multifamily dwelling units being developed by Bill Taylor at 1924 W. G St. on .84 acres of land.
The planners denied an annexation request from Jason Blevins of property located at 509 Stoney Creek Highway. Although Blevins did not request sewer service, the planners said the city would be obligated to provide the service to the new owner if Blevins ever sold the property. The cost of running the sewer line to the property was estimated at $1.12 million.

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