published Monday, September 9th, 2013

Kimball city officials set to approve nonrefundable fee

KIMBALL, Tenn. — City leaders are tired of people requesting meetings with Kimball's Board of Zoning Appeals, and then not showing up.

The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously last week to approve an ordinance on first reading that sets a $50 non-refundable application fee to make such a request.

City Attorney Billy Gouger said the ordinance amends the city's existing zoning ordinance and addresses a recurring situation where people have requested appeal meetings, then don't show or cancel just before the meeting.

Mayor David Jackson said the city's planning commission recommended the application fee.

"The last two times we've had some folks request a [zoning appeals] meeting, we went through the whole process of setting the meeting date and advertising it, and they called two or three days before it and canceled," he said in August.

The appeals board only meets about once every two years, Jackson said, so it can be difficult to find a time where all of the panel members can show up to hear a variance request.

The move will simply "try to cover those costs" associated with setting up the meeting, Jackson said.

"It's just a lot of time and effort for them to not show up," he said.

Gouger said setting up an appeals meeting causes the town to "incur some pretty substantial expenses" through publication and administrative costs.

The nonrefundable fee is "designed to make sure that the town is not subject to frivolous requests for a hearing in front of the BZA."

"If they call and say, 'Hey, we don't want to meet,' they don't get the money back," Jackson said.

The board will vote on the ordinance on second reading at its next meeting on Oct. 3.

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

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