Tag Archives: Metropolitan Planning Commission

Burchett loading MPC with developers

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Neighborhood activists reacted strongly to one of Mayor Tim Burchett’s new appointments to the 15-member Metropolitan Planning Commission. The city mayor gets seven appointments, the county mayor eight.

Word went out Thursday that Burchett has tapped Chris Ooten, an executive with Safe Harbor Development whose resume also includes working for Weigel’s and Schaad Properties in zoning, development and construction.

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Midway vote draws sparks at MPC

Sandra Clark
Editor

Midway Business Park scored another win last week with an 11-4 vote by the Metropolitan Planning Commission to approve the site concept plan developed by multiple engineering and architectural firms with input from residents of East Knox County online and at an ice cream social in July.

Thorn Grove resident Ed Reed said the 42 individuals or families participating in that event voted for farming or open space as the best use for the almost 400 acres bought by Knox County for an industrial park. “Not one supported a business park.”

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Gender-based lawsuits not limited to UT

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

It seems that the University of Tennessee Athletic Department is not alone when it comes to treating some women less fairly than men. Over $5.5 million has been paid out by UT to make the lawsuits over Title IX gender violations go away.

A few blocks away in the City County Building, it seems that the Metropolitan Planning Commission has been doing similar things to some women on its staff. In fact, Dee Anne Reynolds, who was the chief financial officer before former director Mark Donaldson fired her, filed a lawsuit over an employment retaliation issue from which she is now collecting $800,000.

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Planning for the future of East Knox County

Sandra Clark
Editor

Residents of East Knox County gathered Sunday at the Carter Senior Center to share ideas about the future of their community. It was a convivial group, the mood lightened by giant scoops of Cruze Farm ice cream (peach and vanilla).

Their ideas will be posted online at knoxmpc.org/plans/small-area/eastcounty, where others may also comment. Organizers will return in October with a plan.

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Rogero lags on MPC choices

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Has Mayor Rogero forgotten the Metropolitan Planning Commission? Or does she care?

It is now 10 months since three city vacancies occurred on MPC (starting July 1, 2015). Those are the city seats held by former Knoxville Vice Mayor Jack Sharp, Michael Kane and MPC vice chair Bart Carey.

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Development doesn’t have to be a dirty word

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

As Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) Executive Director Gerald Green has met with residents and business owners, he’s confronted a mix of attitudes, from oblivious to disgruntled.

Residents are disgruntled by development when they don’t understand the process and don’t get engaged, he says.

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Church and state and zoning

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Last week, the Northside Church of Christ in Heiskell, facing a Metropolitan Planning Commission staff recommendation to deny its request to rezone its property from low density residential to commercial, removed the proposition from MPC’s August agenda just hours before the meeting.

In deep West Knoxville, neighbors who oppose First Baptist Concord’s request to rezone 26.4 acres at 9635 Westland Drive from public institutional/planned residential to commercial are hunkered down until October, awaiting the results of a traffic study conducted while schools are in session that will consider the effects a shopping center could have on the neighborhood.

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Hill leaves MPC ahead of new director

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Dave Hill has resigned from the staff of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC). Likely this was done prior to the new director coming in. Hill, a high-paid city aide not retained by Mayor Rogero, was hired at MPC by former director Mark Donaldson.

Cumberland Avenue merchants who overwhelmingly opposed the current construction along Cumberland Avenue at a cost of over $20 million wonder why Mayor Rogero never comments on the troubles being created by the project. She leaves explanation to little-known subordinates such as Anne Wallace.

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