For Members Only -  Lenoir City Must Decide!

At the conclusion of the Lenoir City Regional Planning Commission meeting, planning director Russ Newman made a startling and rather important announcement not on the planned agenda.

A MEMO written by planner Russ Newman was distributed to planning officials. It was written to the attention of Mayor Matt Brookshire and Dale Hurst, city administrator.

Planner Newman notified planning officials of a statute change regarding municipal planning commissions that also function as regional planning commissions.

The memo advices Lenoir City Council to make at least two county member appointments so the regional planning commission is legally organized as required by state law.

Alas a law, which addresses county representation on a regional city planning commission having jurisdiction in the county. For so long county residents have had no representation or a level playing field when it came to city regional planning commissions making decisions in the county, which affect our quality of life.

Currently the Lenoir City Regional Commission has jurisdiction five (5) miles beyond Lenoir City's municipal corporate limits and the Urban Growth Boundary. However with the new law, city officials must now appoint two county members to the planning commission if they wish to keep their Lenoir City Regional Commission and territory jurisdiction. 

If Lenoir City officials decide to change back to a municipal planning commission then they can remain with a municipal planning commission; however, if they choose to do so, they may not have jurisdiction into the five (5) mile area of the county or the Urban Growth Boundary.      

Lenoir City officials are going to have to do some serious thinking about this new law, which will impact Lenoir City and Loudon County residents. Lenoir City Regional planning member/Councilman Eddie Simpson summed it up by saying, "that's a big decision that we need to make."