Congratulations are in order for fifteen counties whose comprehensive growth plans were approved last week. These include Bledsoe, Chester, Crockett, Gibson, Henry, Henderson, Humphreys, McNairy, Madison, Meigs, Obion, Perry, Sequatchie, Stewart and Weakley. What a terrific start!
For other counties which have not yet submitted plans, here is a summary of the process.
1. After all local governments agree upon a plan, it must be sent to the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee. This committee, staffed by Don Waller of the Department of Economic and Community Development, may be contacted at the following address:
6th Floor Rachel Jackson Building
320 6th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0405
2. At a minimum, plans must include two copies of the map depicting designated areas. The maps must be legible, show the name of the county, and contain a legend which identifies each area. If any of these are missing, the committee may grant conditional approval, pending receipt of necessary information. To insure that the correct documents are approved and filed, the committee requests that the chair of the coordinating committee sign off on the map itself. Maps should contain enough detail so that someone unfamiliar with the county could determine whether or not a particular parcel is within a boundary line. The coordinating committee may choose to include not only the composite countywide map, but also detail maps of individual municipalities, for example. However, there should be a clear statement of the intent to include these in the official growth plan (or a statement that they should not be included), and which document is to control in case there is a discrepancy between the composite map and a detail map. It is helpful if the maps are accompanied by written descriptions and/or supporting documentation.
3. A certification form, signed by the chair of the coordinating committee, must be sent along with the plan. The top part of the form certifies that all local governments have approved the growth plan and that the requisite hearings have been held. The bottom section of the form is left blank since it will be completed by the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee upon approval. Copies of this form may be obtained on the growth policy web site ( GOTOBUTTON BM_1_ www.ips.utk.edu/growthpolicy) or by calling the CTAS county government consultant for your area.
4. The growth plan must be approved by the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee. This group is composed of seven local officials appointed by the governor. It plans to meet every few weeks during this process, as soon as it has received several plans for consideration. If all the local governments in the county have approved the plan (and it complies with the procedural requirements listed above), the committee will “rubber stamp” the plan. Upon approval, the certification form is signed and dated by the chairman of this committee and returned, along with a copy of the map, to the county executive. After approval, the plan becomes effective immediately.
5. Following approval by the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee, the county executive must file the approved plan with the register of deeds. There is no filing fee.
After this process is completed, the county coordinating committee becomes inactive. It will be re-established when one of the participating governments wishes to amend the plan.
In addition to the fifteen counties which have completed their plans, many others have worked hard and are well on their way. Two deadlines in the law provide incentive to finish as quickly as possible. First, on July 1, 2000, all counties with plans in place will receive an additional five points in the evaluation formula for several important grants. Second, any county in which a plan is not in effect by July 1, 2001, will be ineligible for these grants. (The law contains some exceptions for metropolitan counties and those which have attempted consolidation.)
I would urge all counties to continue their work toward a completed growth plan. We at CTAS will do everything we can to help in this process. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the field representative for your area. A completed growth plan has been achieved by a significant number of counties across the state; it is my belief that many more can and will reach this same goal.