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Setting the (zoning) record straight


The Courier News of April 3 (2019) report on Craig Hansen’s plans for downtown Clinton creates false impressions.

I write to set the record straight:

1 – Historic Zoning Commission (HZC) was established at the same time as Clinton’s historic overlay district – 1990 – as required by Tennessee Code Annotated (state law). HZC’s structure, authority, and function are adopted and tailored by City Code as specifically allowed and bounded by state law.

2 – the ordnance revision recommended to City Council by Clinton Regional Planning Commission was to allow first floor residences not only within the historic overlay zone but across the entire underlying central business district (B-1).

3 – the draft ordinance does not require on-property parking for all residential properties within the B-1 district, only those with ground floor residences.

Mr. Hansen’s building, with residences above the ground floor, is unaffected.

Mr. Hansen correctly cites Anderson County Chamber of Commerce Clinton Vision’s (Gianni Longo) assessment that current downtown parking is far in excess of requirements.

But because on-property parking will remain unnecessary for existing buildings in current uses, his recommendation that those central business district residences be allowed to take advantage of public parking is not needed.

4 – Regarding appeals to HZC actions, state law and city code specify. HZC is established and empowered by both. In some matters, HZC makes recommendations to the local elected body – City Council – occasionally via Clinton Regional Planning Commission; again, as enacted by state law, adopted in city code. A separate arbitration process is not needed and, if enacted, could add little value short of overriding HZC authorities and processes contrary to state law.

I must add only that current city code for Clinton’s HZC and historic district is a skeletal, minimal adoption of state law, unlike that of several surrounding cities which go further; assessed by Mr. Hansen as an economic benefit, correctly in my professional opinion.

Cordially yours,

Melissa W. Snead

Clinton Historic

Zoning Commission