published Monday, July 11th, 2011

Kimball rejects zoning change

By Ryan Lewis
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KIMBALL, Tenn. — A move to create mixed-use developments in Kimball has failed, for now.

“The concept of mixed use is allowing both a residential and commercial use in the same building,” Kimball Attorney Billy Gouger said in June. “That’s something that has not been done before in Kimball. Most small municipalities do not have mixed-use developments.”

Recently, the city’s planning commission voted 3-2 to recommend the mixed-use zoning ordinance change to the Kimball Board of Mayor and Alderman.

At last week’s meeting, no board members made a motion to pass the ordinance on first reading, so the proposal failed.

“I’ve got very mixed emotions about [the possibility] of us doing this,” Mayor David Jackson said. “I think we’d be opening the town up to some potential problems.”

Jackson said he feared the prospective liability issues the town might face if it allowed a type of zoning that is usually reserved for large cities.

If the rules were changed, officials said, anyone who has commercial use of a property could make residential use out of it, too, as long as it fell within the requirements of the proposed ordinance.

One of the major problems board members cited was the ordinance did not clearly outline the “secondary” nature of the residential use of property in a commercial zone.

“I personally can’t vote for this unless there is some revisiting of the C-2 zoning maps in different areas throughout the community,” Alderman Mark Payne said. “I can’t vote for it as it stands.”

In June, Payne said it would take an ordinance “the size of a phone book” to clearly define how a mixed-use site could be utilized.

Jackson said the planning commission could attempt to revise the ordinance in an effort to subdue the board’s concerns, but for now the matter is closed.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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