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The Sevier County Planning Commission was presented a vision statement on behalf of the Friends of Wears Valley association, calling for more strict guidelines for the development of high ridges and steep slopes in the area.
Peter Bush spoke on behalf of the group which was formed out of a neighborhood opposition to the development of Cove Mountain. The proposed development encompassed more than 900 acres and 61 homes sites planned for the first phase. Their request for approval died in the planning commission due to lack of a motion from commissioners.
Opponents of the development have expressed concerns that over development on the ridges, the most visible feature on the landscape, would take away from the scenic beauty of the Wears Valley.
Also, Bush touched on safety issues pertaining to steep roads leading to developments atop mountain ridges. Bush said that overdevelopment has undercut the county’s ability to respond to fires in a responsible manner.
Tony Patty, representing the Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association, brushed on these safety concerns in a subsequent presentation calling for a maximum 15 percent grade on roads, and variance up to 18 percent.
Commissioner Ben Clabo followed up Patty’s comments with a statement of support: “we need to do something to help them (fire fighters) be more safe.”
Commission chairman Jack McMahan said that both Bush and Patty’s statements would be referred to the county Rules and Regulations Committee.
In other business, commissioners heard plans for several developments presented by County Planner David Taylor.
Five proposed developments were granted final approval having meet all county requirements for submittal: Eagle Creek, Creswell Estates, The Preserve Phase IV, Stone Mill and Valley View.
All eight proposed developments on the planning commission agenda seeking preliminary approval were recommended for approval by the planning staff, and we accepted by the commissioners. Those developments include Bonanza Subdivision, Burning Oakes, Golden Leaf, Pleasant Hill Estates, The Preserve Phase IV, Serenity Cove and Thomas Property.

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