Land subdivision is the first step in the process of community development. The Grainger County Planning Commission has adopted subdivision regulations under authority granted by TCA Sections 1303-401 through 13-3-411. Subdivision regulations cover all lands of Grainger County except for those lands within city or town limits of Bean Station, Blaine and Rutledge.
Subdivision regulations have the following major objectives: (1) to provide for the harmonious development of the county, (2) to provide adequate streets and roads for traffic and (3) to secure adequate provisions for storm water runoff, drinking water, sewer and other sanitary facilities.
The law provides for an odd number of planning commission members who are appointed by the County Mayor with the consent of the County Commission. Planning commission members are selected as evenly as possible from each voting district. Current planning Commission members include, Phil Cantwell, David Long, Bob Coffey, Tina Frye, Ricky Williams, Ray Nicely and Joe Stansberry. Each member serves a six-year term of office.
Anyone within Grainger County who divides large tracts of land into smaller parcels greater than 5-acres in size whether for building purposes or not, or who subdivides land into tracts less than 5-acres in size, or changes the size or shape of existing lots is affected by the regulations. A preliminary or final plat must be submitted to the planning commission and the developer must obtain final approval prior to filing the subdivision plat for recording. Preliminary or final subdivision plats must be drawn by a licensed land surveyor.
Plats with all tracts larger than 5-acres in size are not considered subdivisions by TCA and do not require final approval by the planning commission. But the plat must be reviewed and signed by the secretary of the planning commission prior to recording. A proposed subdivision with some lots larger than 5-acres and some lots less than 5-acres must come before the planning commission for final approval before the secretary signed the final plat. A plat with all lots less than 5-acres must come for final approval.
Small lots have size restrictions: (1) lots with water and sewer have a minimum size of 10,000 square feet. (2) lots with water but not sewer must have a minimum size of 20,000 square feet to allow for subsurface sewage dispersal and (3) lots without water or sewer must have a minimum size of 30,000 square feet to allow for a well and its required setback from a septic tank and a subsurface sewage dispersal area. In addition to these lot size restrictions, there are others, which can affect lot layout
Preliminary plats are required whenever infrastructure must be extended, such as water lines, or when streets will be constructed or when there will be more than two lots. When the planning commission approves a preliminary plat, the developer can proceed with extending water lines or building streets. The extension and cost of streets, electric lines, water, fire hydrants, telephone and cable installation is the responsibility of the developer.
A final plat is presented to the planning commission after all infrastructure has been installed including approval for a subsurface sewage disposal site on each lot. On the final plat there are several certificates that must be signed showing that the new or extended infrastructure has been approved.
The Grainger Planning Commission generally meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 7 pm in the Justice Center circuit courtroom. At least four copies of preliminary and final plats must be at the Mayor’s office at least 10 days before the planning commission meets in order to be placed on the agenda.
Copies of the Subdivision Regulations of Grainger County, Tennessee are available at the Mayor’s office or on-line at?