Norris Planning Minutes

May 4, 2015

Minutes of the Norris Planning Commission meeting, held in the Council Room of the Norris Community Building, 20 Chestnut Drive

Members Present:  Chairman Jeff Merritt, Matt Zorvan, Chris Mitchell, Jack Black, John Barker, Joy Wilson  

Public Present:  City Planning Adviser Dan Hawk, City Manager Tim Hester, Jim Tomlinson,                                                           Ray Tackett, Jr., Heather Tackett, Loretta Painter

I.             Call to Order:  Chairman Merritt called the meeting to order at 5:02 pm.

II.            Hear the Public:  No Member of the Public Spoke 

III.           Minutes - April 6, 2015

                With no corrections or questions after review, Chairman Merritt asked for a motion to approve as submitted.  Mr. Zorvan made motion, Mr. Black seconded.  All voted unanimously to approve.

IV.          Old Business:  Review Potential Completion Requirements for Construction projects continued.

                Mr. Hawk began by passing out four (4) documents to Commissioners for review:

                1.            Memorandum

                2.            Title 13 - dealing with vested property rights

                3.            Senate Bill No. 382 - pertaining to amendments to Title 13

                4.            Example of a project Development contract

                Mr. Hawk went over each development in detail.  After the review, Mr. Hawk asked:  What alternatives are available to the City to adopt and enforce policies, rules and administrative instruments that may keep approved development sites on a reasonable completion timeline, and if projects do stall, what tools are available to protect legitimate public interest including financial, environmental and visual issues?

                Mr. Hawk suggested for options that addressed the question.

1.            Accelerated permit schedule - a permit may be valid for a period of one year at an initial fee and may be renewed for periods of six months at a higher renewal fee.

2.            Enforce a property maintenance ordinance for construction periods as well as post construction properties.  This option would require a new ordinance.


3.            Public infrastructure security bound or Irrevocable letter of credit.

                The purpose of these instruments are allowed to guarantee that public improvements required in the subdivision process can be installed later in the evolution of the project by the City if the developer fails to perform the improvement installation as specified.

4.            On site improvement security bond or irrevocable letter of credits.

                These bonds, letter of credit, or other instruments such as posting a cash security usually are associated with landscaping, private pedestrian ways, drives and parking.

5.            Development Contract:

                This agreement includes the specifics of the project designs, timing, enforcement by the city and penalties assessed if the developer fails to perform.

                Mr. Hawk suggested that the accelerated permit and fee schedules would be the simple and cost effective means for the city.  Adopting any of the other four alternatives would require amending the zoning and subdivision regulations.  Also added administrative duties and cost to the city would be needed and should be considered.

                Mr. Black asked, if Norris had a problem with uncompleted projects warranting a change to our permit schedule and adding to the city's administrative duties?  Mr. Hawk answered no, with the exception of one. 

                Mr. Hawk went on to suggest that if the Planning Commission wanted to pursue a type of completion rule, he would recommend a site completion bond at 110% of the cost of exterior, water drainage and landscaping.  This would protect the view shed and storm water runoff.

                Chairman Merritt suggested that Commissioners study the materials and ask if Norris is in need of any of the suggested actions.   Mr. Hawk put forward, and if so, at what cost to the city.  All agreed to review this subject again at the June or July 2015 meeting.


IV.          New Business:

1.            Discussion of "flag" lots and frontage requirements.  Mr. Black started the review by asking, why a large property owner (Dairy Pond Properties) should not be allowed to create a flag lot.  Mr. Hawk suggested flag lots generally do not have road frontage which our ordinances require.

                After a short discussion Mr. Black said he would like to open a discussion on land use policies for possible changes to the ordinances to allow flag lots under certain circumstances.

                Commissioners agreed to review the current ordinances while Mr. Hawk will do an overlay of Norris properties to see if any current flag lots exist.  Mr. Hawk advised that he may not accomplish this before the July 2015 meeting.


VI.          With no further new business being brought forward Chairman Merritt asked for a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Barker made the motion, Mr. Zorvan seconded.   All voted unanimous to adjourn.

 Minutes submitted by Jeff Merritt, Chairman/Secretary