Tazewell creates new zoning designation

Matthew McClung speaks to the Tazewell board of Mayor and Aldermen moments after being appointed the new municipal judge. Alderpersons Betsy Shoffner, Dot Patterson (facing) and Ben Enix are also pictured.

Photos by Jan Runions | Claiborne Progress Tazewell Mayor Wayne Jessie administers the oath of office to Matthew McClung, the newly appointed municipal judge.

The Tazewell Board of Mayor and Aldermen plowed through a litany of proposed ordinances last week during its regular monthly meeting. One of those ordinances, adopted on first reading, effectively creates a new city zoning designation.

For the last several months, the city planning commissioners have poured over the proposed C3 retail corridor business district guidelines, sentence by sentence, before sending it to the BMA for adoption.

Mayor Wayne Jessie said the new regulations would allow “a more marketable approach to business.”

If adopted on second and final reading, ordinance 301 will amend the zoning codes and maps to allow retail commercial activity along major highways. The new zone will encourage off-street retail commercial development, as well.

Apparently, the zoning regulations were designed in part to preserve the traffic carrying capacity of the city streets.

The proposed ordinance will permit retail stores and shops, eating and drinking establishments, business and personal services, motels and hotels and drive-in and various commercial recreational businesses to open or maintain shop.

Those wishing to open a business that does not fall under those accepted categories can have their request taken under review by the commission. Some of those questionable businesses specified under the amended zoning regulations include full service gasoline stations, offices and financial institutions.

If approved, those businesses would be subject to the same conditions and safeguards as the board of zoning appeals might specify to preserve the character of the area.

Truck terminals, repair garages, tire recapping and retreading shops, distribution and wholesale warehouses and certain manufacturing facilities would be prohibited from operating inside the C3 zone.

Scrap and salvage yards along with operations for second-hand or new or used building materials would be barred from operating inside the new zone, as well.

The storing of new or used building materials or the storage above-ground of more than 500 gallons of flammable liquids would be prohibited.

The BMA is expected to vote a second time on this issue during its July meeting. If adopted on second and final reading, the new zone will be established.

It appears those coming to city court will see a new face at the bar. By a vote of four to two, attorney Matthew McClung was appointed to replace David Bunch as the new municipal judge.

Aldermen Don Smith, Riley DeBusk, Patrick Hurley and Ben Enix voted for McClung. Alderpersons Betsy Shoffner, who nominated Bunch, and Dot Patterson, who seconded the motion, were the two ‘no’ votes.

McClung spent the last two years with the Attorney General’s office. Prior to that position, he was a defense attorney.

His term as city judge will expire in two years.

Reach Jan Runions at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @scribeCP.

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