Two zoning issues resolved by Elizabethton planners

John Thompson • Sep 5, 2019 at 8:58 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Two zoning questions on single plots of property were resolved at meetings of the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission and the Elizabethton Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday.

The question before the Planning Commission was a request to rezone a small parcel from middle density residential (R-2) to neighborhood business. The neighborhood has been residential since zoning was first introduced into the city in 1935. The neighborhood in adjacent to the intersection of U.S. Highway 19E and U.S. Highway 321.

Property owner Johnny Holder had requested the rezoning. The request was made so that a small custom engraving business could be established.

Two residents of the neighborhood. Janette Morgan and Grace Lepkofker, spoke against the rezoning, saying they thought it would create more traffic.

The planners voted 5-2 in favor of a motion to deny the request. Commissioners Wes Frazier and Bill Taylor were the only ones to vote against denying the request.

The second matter was decided by the Board of Zoning Appeals. It was a request by Jason Dupell to use a lot at the intersection of intersection of East Elk  and North Lynn avenues near Farm Bureau and Big John’s Closeouts to sell used cars. The lot is zoned as downtown business (B-3), which does not explicitly mention used car lots.

The board voted against allowing the allowance of car sales and the meeting was then adjourned, but Chairman Paul Bellmay allowed Dupell to speak. As he was speaking, the planning staff checked state law and determined that a grandfathered status remains in effect for 30 months when a plot stands idle.

The staff asked Dupell how long the parcel had been vacant. Dupell said it had been vacant for 28 months. The staff then said Dupell still has two months to rezone the used car lot and retain the grandfather status he already had. No action was required by the board.

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