Campbell resigns from Board of Zoning Appeals

Board of Zoning Appeals Larry Campbell on July 2 submitted his resignation to Blount County Commission secretary’s office.

According to resignation letter, Campbell said he took his appointment on the Board of Zoning Appeals as a serious commitment to the citizens of Blount County.

“As evidenced, I have tried to honor this commitment and have only missed one meeting of the Board since being appointed in 2005,” he said. “I accepted this position on the Board with the full intention of applying the County Zoning Regulations and the State of Tennessee Regulations in an equal standard to every citizen within Blount County.”

Campbell said that since being appointed he has disagreed with “special exceptions” to zonings that have been approved by the commission and the BZA. He cited examples such as airstrips, campgrounds and outdoor shooting ranges.

“In my opinion, these changes to the county regulations would mandate the BZA to approve uses within the county that would affect the quality of life and the property value of the surrounding properties,” Campbell said in his resignation letter, adding that it would allow potential uses that “I would not desire to have in my own area of the county, such as airstrips, campgrounds and outdoor shooting ranges.”

In a telephone interview, Campbell explained, “About five years ago I started addressing the issue of allowing certain people rights you can’t give other people. If you had an existing dog lot kennel not in regulation in a R-1 zone, bought the property and wanted to put in a car lot, the board felt it was lesser impact on than county than dog kennel. What aggravates me is, once we give a property owner this use, I can’t give it to an adjoining neighbor or anybody else in that district. It was to me an unfair advantage,” he said.

Campbell said that the new regulations the commission passed as far as private air strips and outdoor shooting ranges and the campground regulations currently being proposed decrease the quality of life for property owners.

“Those are uses I would not want next to me, and I feel it takes away from the quality of life of a property owner. If I don’t want it next to me, I certainly don’t want to approve it for someone else.”

Campbell said he presented information to the County Planning Commission, the County Mayor’s office, and to the County Commission, but to no avail.

“Those are my two main issues,” he said. “My conscience is saying if I don’t want a use next to me, why should I approve it for someone else? And if I have to grant uses to someone that someone else can’t have, I don’t think that is right,” he said.

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