That’s what County Commissioners ultimately decided during Monday’s Full Body meeting at the courthouse July 19.
The reason: state law doesn’t allow for the county to attempt to restrict agriculture use of land, the county attorney advised them.
“The state law that gives you all the authority to enact changes and regulate the use of land doen’t allow you to do it when it comes down to agricultural uses,” County Attorney Guy Holliman told commissioners. “It’s just not there.
“The state attorney general has said time and time again that attempts to do that are unconstitutional.”
David Harper, representing Citizens for Smart Choices, addressed commissioners a week before, during their Committee of the Whole meeting July 12.
Harper asked commissioners to make a motion to send the zoning regulations back to the Planning Commission for review. Harper also urged for zoning regulations to ultimately be put into place.
Commissioners agreed to send the motion on to Monday’s Full Body meeting.
And when the motion came up again 13 minutes into the meeting, Commissioner Tony Boles quickly pointed out something that apparently had been overlooked the previous week.
“I would like to bring to everyone’s attention that this motion is out of order due to a motion we passed in March 2009,” Boles said.
Boles referenced the motion from earlier this year. That motion, approved by commissioners, stated that the county would leave any restrictions on the use of agricultural land at the state and federal levels.
“What that’s saying is that we cannot restrict the agricultural use,” Boles said. “You can’t send these new restrictions to the zoning commission because we voted to leave any restrictions to the state and federal level. Plus, in order for this motion to go through, the motion that was made in March 2009 would have to be rescinded by a two-thirds majority vote.”
The motion to rescind the motion from March 2009 was made by Billy West and seconded by Ralph Doss.
Prior to a voting, several commissioners asked for Holliman’s legal advice.
Holliman, citing state law, made it clear that the county didn’t have the legal right to attempt to regulate agricultural use of land.
After Holliman’s explanation, a vote was taken.
Eighteen of the 19 commissioners present voted no, meaning not to rescind the motion from March 2009. West passed on the vote.
The following notaries public were elected by acclamation: Chris Mahaney, Debbie Bransford and Carrie A. Vanmeter.
Minutes from these meetings were approved: Court Meeting (June 21), Budget Committee Meetings (June 2, 9, 16, 22 and 29), Salary Study Committee (May 17) and Committee of the Whole Meeting (July 12).
These resolutions passed: 2010 County Flood Damage Prevention, Litter Grant, USDA (EMS), Flood 2010 Capital Outlay Note, PC801 and Prior Service Retirement.
Commissioners approved the reappointments of Frances Darnell and GeorgiaAnn Boles to the Library Board.
Commissioners approved Judge Ken Witcher’s recommendation of a Juvenile Detention Center contract between Macon County and Rutherford County for backup purposes.
Signs, signs, signs
Commissioners approved installing 30 MPH speed limit signs (three or four of them) on the Old Lake Road in Red Boiling Springs.
Sheriff Mark Gammons informed commissioners that he’d need a little more time to get some figures together for possible installation of a camera and buzzer to be installed between the dispatchers’ area and the courtrooms at the Justice Center.
Grand Jury Report
Commissioners accepted the June 7, 2010 report of the Grand Jury concerning the county courthouse and jail. The report reads as follows:
IN THE CRIMINAL COURT FOR MACON COUNTY, TENNESSEE AT LAFAYETTE
TO: THE HONORABLE DAVID EARL DURHAM
Report of the Grand Jury
We, the members of the Macon County Grand Jury for this June term of Criminal Court have undertaken to fulfill our duties as required by law.
We have duly considered all matters, which have been brought to our attention and rendered a proper return thereon.
We have inspected the bonds of the county officials and fond them to be in proper form and solvent.
We have inspected the Macon County Courthouse and found it clean, well-maintained and in good state of repair.
We have inspected the Macon County jail and found it clean, well-maintained and in a good state of repair with the following exceptions:
1.) The kitchen had cobwebs on the walls and the refrigerator had mold around the base.
2.) The security system in the control room has a fault indicator which is eliminated on the fire system control panel, with the alarm silenced.
3.) Upon being questioned, the control room personnel states that the window tint is worn and too dark and that the prisoners cannot be watched as well as they should be.
Now, having finished out duties as set out in our oath and instructions, we ask to be dismissed until further call of the court.
Commissioners will meet again Monday, Aug. 9. Normally, the Committee of the Whole meeting is held the first Monday of each month. It has been pushed back a week in August for the County Fair.