BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Blount County Commissioners are hoping to make changes to the current cluster development plan.
Cluster developments are rather new to the county, popping up in just the past few years.
“A cluster development is a subdivision that allows you to stack a whole lot of houses in a very small area,” Nick Bright, District 6 Commissioner said.
Blount County has seen a lot of growth recently with businesses like Smith & Wesson, and Amazon coming to the county.
“The goal is to kind of try and keep the development towards the center of the town towards the city and leave the rural parts and the outskirt more open for future developments,” Bright said. “Hopefully rural Blount County never looks like anything, but rural Blount County. We can’t stop people from coming here.”
Some commissioners are not in favor of these specific types of developments and they are looking to make some changes to the current regulations. One of those changes is the percentage of open space each cluster development must have.
“If you want to do a cluster development you would have to give up 40% of your property and then you could use the other 60% to put the smaller lots and have lots of houses, but you are going to have to give up 40% of it,” Bright said. “It has to put 40% of good land. It can’t be retention ponds and ditches and things like that, it has to be usable property and you have to have a minimum of 10 acres to have a subdivision like that.”
Though some commissioners aren’t in favor are this specific type of development, some realtors in the county are. Pat McGill with Realty Executives Associates believes cluster developments could save the county some money because infrastructure and roads would be in a smaller area.
“We just felt like it’s less development cost, its less for the county to maintain going forward and has some beautiful open spaces,” McGill said.
McGill also believes these types of developments just serve as another option for potential homebuyers.
“Personally I feel and the agents in my little circle, the real estate agent, is that cluster developments just gives you the opportunity to have a more control environment,” McGill said “You get a lot of space or you can designate that to how much open space.”
Currently, Blount County is conducting a study on the county’s growth and changes that can be made in the future. If changes are made to the current regulations. developers would need to seek several approvals from the county commissioners.
“They will approve a preliminary plat approval will be the first process where they lay out what they intend to do and we will vote on that. Then they will lay it out and bring it back to us and get final approval,” Bright said. “There are several times we would have to vote on and approve that through the process to make sure it looks like what we would want it to look like.”