Crye to lead planners as new chair
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Apr 03, 2013 | 808 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thomas Crye
Thomas Crye
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The newest member of the Bradley County Regional Planning Commission was elected chairman only minutes before a contentious agenda item came up for a vote.

Thomas Crye replaced former planning commissioner Tom Crye after he resigned earlier in the year. Tom Crye was among three commissioners who resigned after being made aware of new requirements to submit financial statements to the state. Commission Chair Tony Young and Daryll Sneed also resigned

A bill passed in the 107th General Assembly added members of any local or regional planning commission to the list of public officials required to submit a statement of disclosure of interests to the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.

Commissioners approved a request presented by Jo Organ to rezone property on the corner of North Lee Highway and Old Charleston Road from Forestry/Agricultural/Residential to General Commercial. The commission approved the request by a vote of 5-1-1.

Organ, a Crye-Leike real estate agent, was present on behalf of the trustees of the Ruthanna Almond family, who lives out of town.

Commissioners Mel Griffith, Janie Bishop, Greg Calfee, Lisa Webb and Crye voted in favor of rezoning the property. Joanna Duncan voted against it and Mike Graves abstained because he works for Crye-Leike Realtors.

Duncan said she looked at the property earlier in the day and knew she was voting against it before the meeting began. She said growth needs to be planned and organized.

Several residents from Club Hill Estates subdivision, which lies on the west side of Old Charleston Lane N.W., opposite the .75-acre parcel spoke out against the resolution.

The property is currently vacant. It is surrounded by trees on three sides and property used as commercial on the north side, according to Organ.

Residents Reba Woodburn, Don Moates and about 15 others complained they would be looking at the back door or parking lot of whatever business was built in the residential area and home values would plummet.

“I’m sure you’ve heard the expression of first-come, fist-serve — our neighborhood was there first,” she said.

The residents predicted increased traffic and endangerment of wildlife habitat. One parent said her children have a safe place to ride bikes and walk the dog. She is afraid for her children’s safety from increased traffic.

Organ said she does not know what would go on the property, only that rezoning it would allow for its highest and best use.

Two other agenda items were unanimously approved:

Clyde Walker requested to rezone property at 2231 Spring Place Road from FAR to C-2 for a used car lot.

Saurin Patel requested rezoning property at 1617 Lauderdale Memorial Highway N.W. from FAR to C-2 for a convenience store.