Road Committee recommends ROW resolution

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 6/11/19

A resolution outlining what Bradley County will allow in its rights-of-way is one step closer to being officially adopted.

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Road Committee recommends ROW resolution

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A resolution outlining what Bradley County will allow in its rights-of-way is one step closer to being officially adopted.

The Bradley County Commission's Road Committee on Monday approved a motion to adopt the resolution. That recommendation now goes to the full County Commission for consideration.

"This one's been rolled around at least since October," Road Committee Chairman Kevin Raper said, as discussion began.

Raper asked if Sandra Knight, Bradley County’s road superintendent, met with Ocoee Region Builders Association representatives about the organization's concerns. Knight said she has.

"They're opposed to the whole resolution," Knight said.

About six months ago, ORBA was invited to review the resolution and bring forward concerns for discussion.

ORBA President Blake Allison provided the following statement to the County Commission:

“The Ocoee Region Builders Association has presented the Right of Way Resolution changes to the Board of Directors. While the board is grateful for the opportunity to assist in amending the Right of Way Resolution, the board members still have inherent concerns as to the purpose of the resolution. The resolution appears to be a duplication of laws that are already in effect. The board appreciates the efforts made by Road Superintendent Knight, but is concerned with how a future superintendent might interpret the resolution, thus affecting Bradley County citizens and the housing industry. ORBA has reached out to neighboring counties’ associations and found that they are also opposed to any resolution being brought forward in their districts citing similar concerns. For these reasons, ORBA continues to be opposed to the Right of Way Resolution.”

Commissioner Mike Hughes asked if all the changes ORBA asked about have been addressed. Knight said they have, adding some have been changed based on discussion. She also spoke with Farm Bureau Insurance representatives who had questions about making exceptions for repairs to existing fences, and those concerns were also addressed.

Hughes said the major questions he has been asked are about brick mailboxes in subdivisions, which he understands are allowed based on the speed limit for the adjacent roadway. Knight said that speed limit is 25 mph, and is listed in the resolution.

Commissioner Louie Alford asked Knight if she answered all the concerns ORBA had. Knight said she did.

Commissioner Dennis Epperson, who is a local developer and ORBA board member, said when discussion started about the resolution there were comments about cell towers. He asked why it has not been mentioned.

"It's a matter of you want to control where they go so you can protect the traveling public," Knight said.

Epperson also asked who retains funds if fines are levied related to the resolution. Knight said that is determined by the County Commission because it's "a local issue."

Epperson said they are not talking about any permit fee, but asked what would happen if the Road Department wants to implement one.

"We would come back before the Commission," Knight said.

Raper said he and Knight talked about this and how any fees would have to come before the full County Commission.

Epperson asked if people could be fined double fines, from both Bradley County and the state of Tennessee. Knight said double fines wouldn't be an issue because this is a local resolution — that is why each county looked at the resolution individually.

Hughes made a motion, seconded by Alford, to adopt the rights-of-way resolution with fine/fee information included. The motion was approved 4-1, with Hughes, Alford, Raper and Commissioner Tim Mason voting for it, and Epperson voting against it.

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