TRDA vs Loudon County
I had the story of the case of TRDA vs Loudon County written and even posted when after reading the judge's memorandum opinion for the umpteenth time it dawned on me that it didn't say at all what I thought it said.
While it initially appeared that judge Simmons had ruled in favor of TRDA, a closer look at the judge's 5-page ruling may tell a different story. The judge ruled that TRDA has "sole and exclusive power" for building permits and building standards on "development lands" and that Loudon County has none. Case closed? Not so fast. In paragraph one, Judge Simmons defines development lands as follows: "land owned by TRDA."
Trouble is, for TRDA, they don't own any of the land in question: namely, those properties that have been sold to private owners who have or will be building homes on them. By Simmons own definition, Loudon County, not TRDA, would have jurisdiction of these privately owned parcels.
However Loudon County maintains that Loudon County has the authority
for building permits and building standards on land formerly
owned by TRDA. The judge's opinion does not give TRDA any authority
on land formerly owned by TRDA in fact the opinion is
completely silent about former TRDA lands.
Loudon County should take the initiative. Release the statement:
We are pleased, and feel vindicated by this ruling. In it, Judge Simmons declined to give TRDA building codes and inspection jurisdiction on privately owned, non-TRDA lands. By defining "development lands" as lands owned by TRDA obtained under contract with TVA, then concluding only that the TRDA's authority applies to the "development lands," all privately owned parcels are now under the jurisdiction of all Loudon County health and safety-related services. We expect the County will begin issuing construction permits on new construction right away, as originally intended and designed by County Commission.
Below is a link to the judge's memorandum. Read it remembering that
every time you see the term "development lands" that means "land
owned by TRDA. See what you think. I'm sure attorneys from both
sides can argue it their way. Whether the judge made a mistake or he
meant it the way it is written, I don't know but if you take the
judge's opinion on face value, the county won the suit.