Monday, October 29, 2007

No Variances On the Flood Plain

Vacant Lockmaster House near Old Hickory Dam by Brent and MariLynn

Mondays are devoted to topics of local interest.
I was reading the I-24 Exchange about various zoning variances that were denied based on instructions from the federal government that to grant them would increase the cost of flood insurance for the entire county. It seems that the attorney representing two of the variance requests withdrew the requests, saying that the issues involved had been discussed with him and the people he represented were going to abide by the county's decision to not grant the variances. No big deal, so far. Not quite what I expected but to my way of thinking, it is the only option.

What struck me about the reports of the whole affair was the insistence of the county planner for economic development that NO CONVERSATION had occurred between her and the attorney. What's the big deal, here? I'm not sure.

Okay, maybe I'm slow or naive or don't care enough about personal county politics. I didn't necessarily assume there had been a conversation, but her insistence that there wasn't one is the cause of my suspicion. Why would she make such a big deal about it? How does this relate to the junk pile further up river that has many residents upset. It was granted a variance. Doe sit violate EPA laws or Corps of Engineer requirements. I don't know.

I think it's pretty clear that the federal law supersedes whatever the county wishes to do. That's pretty much the law of the land post-Civil War and how federalism works. But I am unsure of many of the facts of the case. This situation has been going on for a bit of time, but I really didn't pay too much attention because it seemed to be over an installation of a swimming pool.

Now I am wondering what is going on. You never know when something small will become a major butt-covering issue. That's why I encourage everyone in Cheatham County to pay more attention to what is going on around here. With the completion of the Braxton in the near future, and the super-heated house building market in the north of the county, the indicators point to an imminent rapid growth for the county. If we don't pay attention, we will look around one day and wonder where all the green space is and what happened to the barns and old houses that were demolished to make way for progress.
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