Norris Planning Minutes

October 3, 2016

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


Members Present: John Barker, Chris Mitchell, Jack Black, Ed Myer, Matt Zorvan

Public Present: Tim Hester, Dan Hawk, approximately 25 citizens.

Call to order at 5:05 by John Barker serving as chair

Hear the Public: Sandra Rhyne inquired if a multiple uses were allowed in the C-2 commercial zone, specifically a used car lot.  Mr. Hester explained that any use allowed in the C-2 district could be conducted on the property including more than one permitted use.  He further stated that a used car business was not an allowed use and could not be permitted.  He explained that the Sawyer Brothers used car business had been a legal non-conforming use and allowed to continue.

Approval of minutes:  The September minutes were approved unanimously after a motion by Matt Zorvan and second by Jack Black.

New Business - none

Old Business

Review of proposed sign regulations for the P-1 and S-2 zoning districts

  • John Barker explained the expected conduct for this discussion to the crowd assuring that everyone would be heard in a respectful manner.
  • John Barker asked a one of the council members on the planning commission to explain the reason city council sent the recommended sign amendments back to the planning commission for further review
  • Councilman Jack Black asked to be recognized. Mr. Black explained his reasoning and that he recommended that the business owners along Hwy 61 be informed of the planning commission review by letter. Mr. Black discussed the visibility, utility and safety of sign and letter size along the highway with a speed of 45 MPH referencing a design manual published by the United States Sign Council.
  • Mayor Chris Mitchell stated that the council sent the proposed sign amendments back to planning commission to further review the need for change. Mayor Mitchell stated that there was an assumption that the zoning ordinance did not address signs in the P-1 district and that a 32 square foot sign is in fact allowed.
  • Mr. Barker opened the discussion to the citizens attending the meeting.
    • Al Fletcher asked if there was a rendering of the sign. Mr. Barker explained that the discussion was not regarding one sign but a general discussion of signs in the P-1 and S-2 zoning districts.
    • Ed McEleney stated that no off premise signs should be allowed. Staff stated that the current ordinance prohibits off premise signs.
    • Terry Langheld of 50 Chestnut Drive discussed the research she had conducted and her feeling that the existing sign regulations are not sufficient.
    • Mr. Elliot stated asked about the 18 foot height limit.
    • Tim Hester explained that the current version of sign regulations are 12 years or older and that the planning commission failed to determine if the Hwy 61 corridor should be considered an extension of the historic city of Norris or as a separate commercial corridor with a different character. He stated that he believed this is an important distinction necessary to guide development and signage.
    • One citizen discussed the TVA easement along 441 (Norris Freeway). Mr. Hester explained that access is controlled by the easement and not signage
    • Ed McEleney stated that no electronic signs should be allowed
  • There being no further comments from the citizens present Mr. Barker opened the discussion among the planning commission. A number of issues were discussed and it was clearly stated that the council was not in favor of electronic signage.
  • Mr. Barker asked for a motion to table the discussion till the November meeting and instructing staff to provide addition information along with Mr. Black's research. Mr. Zorvan made the motion to table, seconded by Mr. Black, passing unanimously.


General Discussion of Food Trucks in Norris

  • Mr. Barker opened the issue for discussion and after lengthy comment regarding competition with existing business located in fixed structures, the number of opportunities that mobile food service vehicles might be profitable, and a recount of interviews with existing food service establishments, Mayor Mitchell made the motion that the planning commission not recommend allowing mobile food service vehicles in the city, seconded by Mr. Black, passing unanimously.


With no other business the planning commission meeting was adjourned at 6:25

Minutes submitted by Dan Hawk.