“Absolutely not,” U.N. Spokesman Dan Shepard said in a phone interview. “The U.N. has no particular interest in Bradley County, Tennessee.”
Shepard made the statement after being asked if the United Nations was secretly funding the comprehensive plan and a more detailed planning document in preparation of anticipated growth in Bradley County, Cleveland and Charleston.
Members of the Tea Party of Bradley County, who oppose the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan, have alleged that it follows a sustainable development plan as outlined by a United Nations policy known as Agenda 21.
The city of Cleveland was notified Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration it received the city’s application for a grant to develop comprehensive plans for sustainable growth throughout Bradley County. The notification stated the application was found to contain all information required by the agency. The next step is agency review.
The $250,000 grant would be used to carry out coordinated but separate comprehensive plans for Cleveland and Bradley County, and detailed planning in three key areas. Those areas are the urban core of Cleveland, a northern corridor generally around Mouse Creek northward from Paul Huff Parkway and including Charleston, and a southern corridor around Exit 20 and the McDonald area.
If approved, the federal government would pay $125,000. The city and county would pay $62,500 each, for a total of $125,000.
The EDA notification came a week after local tea party members claimed one way to control growth is by forcing everyone to move into a particular area and the BCC 2035 Joint Strategic Plan is a tool leading to imminent domain and moving everyone into the city, which, they said, is the plan of the U.N.
Shepard said the United Nations has no interest in removing rural residents from their homes and relocating them inside the city of Cleveland.
He also said the term “sustainable growth,” at least at the U.N., is not code for anything. Sustainable growth simply means development in a way that sustains social and economic resources, natural resources and communities in the future in regions of developing countries.
The plan does not try to “force” people to live in the city. It does recommend the study of policies that would discourage sprawl, which is more costly to taxpayers in the long run.
Dr. Chantal Line Carpentier is the Sustainable Development officer and Major Groups Programme coordinator at the United Nations.
When asked about the claims made by the tea party, she said, “What a sad story indeed. I am not sure how the U.N. (would) proceed about denying these false accusations.”