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Developers who have been planning a housing development off of Sugar Hollow Road were turned down by the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission Tuesday night for a second time, denying approval of their plan which incorporates a ‘pump and haul’ sewage system.
When the proposed development—Alpine Mountain and Village—was given preliminary approval, problems related to the city’s ability to handle the extra sewer capacity were unbeknownst to both the city and the developer.
“We didn’t even know of the sewer problems until December,” said developer Rod McCarter who, again, approached the commission Tuesday night with a similar plan, but only looking for approval for 15 lots as opposed to the 45 lots proposed in February.
The city is currently working to replace and expand the sewer line servicing this area according to the city’s Public Works Director, Mark Miller, who said that the project is going out for bid next month.
As a temporary solution, the developers are proposing to institute a pump-and-haul system in which the septics are interconnected and are pumped and hauled off the site to a treatment facility.
The plan was turned down by the city planning staff and the city attorney because the developer had not yet obtained a permit from state officials in time for Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We’ve reduced the number of cabins by almost two-thirds, we increased the number of tanks,” said McCarter. “To me it’s just a matter of a formality in waiting on a piece of paper.”
“This whole situation with the pump and haul is new territory for everyone,” said Community Development Director John Jagger. “Our understanding is that this is something that is probably doable through the state through their regulations but I don’t think it’s accurate to refer to it as a formality or waiting on a letter. They’ve indicated to us that it’s more of a process than that.”
Overall, the city seemed willing to allow the practice, but held reservation due to liability issues.
“We have no objection to this as long as they have the necessary state permit and contract with a licensed hauler,” said Jagger.
Pigeon Forge’s City Attorney, Jim Gass, said: “From the city’s legal standpoint, I’ve got to say what a dilemma this puts this city in, if this board approves this and then TDEC (the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) does not ultimately approve it.”
“I believe that if you approve this without that permit or without some document saying that this permit is being issued then the city has some exposure to liability,” said Gass.
In a final plea, representatives of the developer asked if final approval could be granted for their development contingent on reception of the permit within the next 10 days.
The request was, however, denied as the commissioners stuck to the advice of the city planning and legal staff. “I don’t think that contingency would hold up in a court of law,” said commissioner Robert Young.
Commissioner Keith Whaley concurred: “This kind of puts us in a tough spot—makes us look like we’re the bad guys here. Based on the advice of our staff and city attorney, we’re back to the same argument we had last month.”

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Developers who have been planning a housing development off of Sugar Hollow Road were turned down by the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission Tuesday night for a second time, denying approval of their plan which incorporates a ‘pump and haul’ sewage system.
When the proposed development—Alpine Mountain and Village—was given preliminary approval, problems related to the city’s ability to handle the extra sewer capacity were unbeknownst to both the city and the developer.
“We didn’t even know of the sewer problems until December,” said developer Rod McCarter who, again, approached the commission Tuesday night with a similar plan, but only looking for approval for 15 lots as opposed to the 45 lots proposed in February.
The city is currently working to replace and expand the sewer line servicing this area according to the city’s Public Works Director, Mark Miller, who said that the project is going out for bid next month.
As a temporary solution, the developers are proposing to institute a pump-and-haul system in which the septics are interconnected and are pumped and hauled off the site to a treatment facility.
The plan was turned down by the city planning staff and the city attorney because the developer had not yet obtained a permit from state officials in time for Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We’ve reduced the number of cabins by almost two-thirds, we increased the number of tanks,” said McCarter. “To me it’s just a matter of a formality in waiting on a piece of paper.”
“This whole situation with the pump and haul is new territory for everyone,” said Community Development Director John Jagger. “Our understanding is that this is something that is probably doable through the state through their regulations but I don’t think it’s accurate to refer to it as a formality or waiting on a letter. They’ve indicated to us that it’s more of a process than that.”
Overall, the city seemed willing to allow the practice, but held reservation due to liability issues.
“We have no objection to this as long as they have the necessary state permit and contract with a licensed hauler,” said Jagger.
Pigeon Forge’s City Attorney, Jim Gass, said: “From the city’s legal standpoint, I’ve got to say what a dilemma this puts this city in, if this board approves this and then TDEC (the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) does not ultimately approve it.”
“I believe that if you approve this without that permit or without some document saying that this permit is being issued then the city has some exposure to liability,” said Gass.
In a final plea, representatives of the developer asked if final approval could be granted for their development contingent on reception of the permit within the next 10 days.
The request was, however, denied as the commissioners stuck to the advice of the city planning and legal staff. “I don’t think that contingency would hold up in a court of law,” said commissioner Robert Young.
Commissioner Keith Whaley concurred: “This kind of puts us in a tough spot—makes us look like we’re the bad guys here. Based on the advice of our staff and city attorney, we’re back to the same argument we had last month.”

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Pigeon Forge planners presided over a marathon Planning Commission meeting approving ten special events, two subdivisions, four planned unit developments, four site plans, one rezoning and five miscellaneous items. The meeting lasted two hours and fifteen minutes.
One particular item involved a planned unit development off of Sugar Hollow Road called Alpine Mountain and Village. When the development was given preliminary approval problems related to the city’s ability to handle the extra sewer capacity was unbeknownst to both the city and the developer.
The city is currently working to replace and expand the sewer line servicing this area.
“We didn’t even know of the sewer problems until December,” said developer Rod McCarter.
As a temporary solution, the developers are proposing to institute a pump-and-haul system in which the septics are interconnected and are pumped and hauled off the site to a treatment facility.
The city planning staff, however, was reluctant to recommend approval of the plan without state approval.
“I agree with the staff that the state should approve this disposal method,” said City Attorney Jim Gass.
Public Works Director Mark Miller said that this method would require a state permit. “They’ll only do it on a temporary basis, too,” said Miller.
“I think our hands are tied here,” said newly appointed commissioner Bill Howell. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem getting a special meeting called if you can get your permits,” he said.
A specially called meeting would allow the developer to have approval to move ahead with the project without having to wait until the next planning commission meeting, next month.

The planning group’s agenda for the Tuesday meeting reads as follows:

Special Events—
• 30th Annual Volunteer Street Rod Association’s Silver Dollar Rod Run, Mountain Breeze Motel, June 2 through June 3—Sonny Bivens. Approved.
• Relay for Life – Motorcycle Ride, Patriot Park, May 6—Jodi Henderson. Approved.
• Sixth Annual Pontiacs in Pigeon Forge, Music Road Hotel and Convention Center, June 2 – June 4—Ben Humphries. Approved.
• Smoky Mountain Model A Club, Music Road Hotel and Convention Center, Sept. 24 – Sept. 29—Ben Humphries. Approved.
• 29th Annual Chevy Classics Roundup, Music Road Hotel and Convention Center, may 19 – May 21—Ben Humphries. Approved.
• Seventh Annual Tennessee Gold Wing Road Riders Association Convention and Parade, Country Inn Suites and Smoky Mountain Convention Center, April 27 – April 29—Jeff Liner. Approved.
• 24th Annual Shades of the Past Rod Run, National Parks Resort Lodge/Smoky River Ranch, Sept. 6 – Sept. 10—Rod Milligan. Approved.
• Spring & Fall Grand Rod Runs, Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center, spring: April 19 – April 23, fall: Sept. 13 – Sept. 17—Rod Milligan. Approved.
• Third Annual Tanger Outlet Centers 8K Road Race for the park, Race Route between Tanger Centers in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge via Parkway, May 6—Judith Huskey. Approved.
• Opening ceremony for Sporting Events Association of America “World Series” softball tournament, July 12 and July 24, Patriot Park—Jim Mullins. Approved.

Subdivisions—
• Minor re-subdivision of Lots 1 and 2 on the Olin and Mildred Watson Property, Lloyd Huskey Road, Sue Watson/Ronnie Sims. Denied.
• Minor re-subdivision of Lots 5 & 6 of the Howard Brown Et Ux Jean Property, Bluff Mountain Road, Ronnie Sims/Howard Brown. Approved.
• Minor re-subdivision of Lot 2R1 of the Roger Garland Property, Denton Road, Roger Garland. Approved.

Planned Unit Developments—
• Final PUD plat and plan of Lot 106 – 145 for Alpine Mountain Village, Phase 5 (40 lots), off Alpine Mountain and Village Way off of Sugar Hollow Road, Rod McCarter. Withdrawn.
• Final PUD plat and site plan of Brookside R.V. Resorts, Lots 1 – 65, Wears Valley Road, D&S Builders/Jonathan Lyons. Approved.
• Final re-plat of 11 lots and relocation of right-of-way of Black Bear Cub Way of Black Bear Ridge PUD development, off of Lost Branch Road, James Temple. Approved.
• Final re-plat of 11 lots and relocation of right-of-way of Firefly Trail Way of Black Bear Ridge PUD development, off of Lost Branch Road, James Temple. Approved.
• Final PUD plat and plat of Lots 1 – 57 of Grand Vista Subdivision, off of Music Mountain Drive between Teaster Lane and Sugar Hollow Road, Rod McCarter. Withdrawn.
• Final re-plat and PUD site plan for Big Bear Lodge PUD development, off of Wears Valley Road, John Mele. Approved.
• Re-plat of Lot 244 into of Eagle’s Ridge #2 PUD development, Phase 2, Black Hawk Way off of Country Oaks Drive, Barry Davis/Howard Dawson. Approved.

Site Plans—
• Addition to Music Road Hotel and Convention Center, site plan, Henderson Chapel Road, Michael Hayes/Ray Ogle. Approved.
• Addition to Miracle Theater, site plan, Parkway, Bullock, Michael Hayes/David Fee.
• Mercantile Building (retail and office building), site plan, Wears Valley Road, Bill Denton/Bruce Carpenter. Approved.
• Dash N’ Splash/Fast Tracks, site plan, Parkway, Larry Sorrell/Robert Grubb. Approved.

Requests for re-zoning—
• Melinda Maples, vacant lot at the corner of Middle Creek Road and Maple Lane, from R-1 (low density residential) to C-2 (tourist commercial). Approved.

Miscellaneous requests—
• Request for annexation, approximately 24.51 acres, River Divide Road, Smoky River Development Corp./Jess Davis. Approved.
• Request to abandon a small section of Henderson Chapel Road between Two Ducks, LLC and Eugene Lafollette property near the Parkway, Darby Campbell. Approved.
• Request to approve legal agreement for Mountain Valley Inn to lease parking from Mountain Valley Vineyards, Hasmukh Bhula. Approved.
• Request extension of preliminary plat of Janice Williams Property (Bentwood Ridge) for one year, Marcus Whaley. Approved.
• Ordinance to adopt U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s study of Walden’s Creek and Mill Creek as best available data and a request to adopt new GIS parcel and zoning layers for the City, staff. Approved.

Board of Zoning Appeals—
• Big Bear Lodge PUD development condominium building, request for variance from PUD perimeter setback to allow 22 feet instead of 25-foot setback fro one corner of building, John Mele.

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