Errors noted in zoning ordinances

Published 8:32 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

MURFREESBORO — Nearly a year after the Mideast Commission was hired to update the Murfreesboro Town Zoning Ordinances, errors and items that need revision are still being found.

On Tuesday, Murfreesboro Code Enforcement Officer Gene Flowers appeared before the Murfreesboro Town Council during a public hearing in reference to amending the Town’s Zoning Ordinance Title XV: Land Usage, Chapter 155.

“A year ago we had Mideast to come in and try to upgrade our zoning ordinances and we have had some difficulty being able to use those ordinances because of some mis-writings within the book,” he said. “Some things were left out entirely other things were disconnected according to chapter numbers versus ordinance numbers and so forth.”

Flowers added that some changes had been made and disconnected chapter number references corrected through out the document. Some of those changes included:

On page 177 the addition of abandoned vehicles; chapter 155.038 to 155.052.

On page 172 the addition of off street parking and loading requirements; chapter 155.036-155.037

On page 171 the addition of earth station dish antennas, tourist homes and accessory building set backs to conditional use permits. Flowers noted this goes along with the index of 155.033 and 155.035.

On page 137 the addition of accessory building set backs for each individual zoning section.

“And just yesterday, the Mayor (John Hinton) advised me that he found on page 132 it did not connect with the rest of the ordinance he was trying to read,” said Flowers. “When we start trying to find these in the book when they are requested by people on how they can handle these situations, we run into these kinds of problems. It’s been very difficult to use that book.”

Flowers said there are still some errors in the document and requested that the board spend this month reading it through to see if they can find any more errors and then make a decision next month on how to proceed with these errors.

Mayor Pro-tempore Molly Eubank asked if the Planning Board had reviewed the document.

“The Planning Board pretty well stated that they thought it was up to myself and (Town Administrator) Lee (Capps) to look at this book and make the decisions…and that’s where it was left,” responded Flowers.

Councilman Lloyd Hill asked if the town had paid the Mideast Commission to go through the document.

Capps said the town did and had contracted the job for $20,000, and the task was completed for “a little less than that.”

“This product should have been gone through thoroughly by them,” said Councilman Billy Theodorakis.

Flower said in an inquiry he had made to a couple of people who are familiar with the organization and others that perform this type of work, perhaps, Mideast was not the best choice.

“This is not their forte,” he said.

“But they advertise that they do have people on staff to do it,” said Theodorakis.

Theodorakis then asked who represented the town on the Mideast board.  

Town Clerk Joleatha Chestnutt said there was none as former Mayor Lynn Johnson was the previous representative.

Hinton said he believed Johnson was still attending those meetings.

Theodorakis suggested a representative from the Mideast come before the board about the zoning ordinance document.

“We’ve had many visits with them up to this point and it was requested that they wait until after we meet with you this time to present what we have and possibly be here next time to give you explanations and examples,” Flowers said.

Flowers noted the document had been through the correction process three or four times and there were still problems with it.