Neighborhood protection still a Planning ambition


The Planning Commission spent part of its August 22 meeting again working over definitions in City Code related to weddings and private events, but commissioners stated there were unfounded rumors and emails circulating that did not reflect their intent or the substance of their work so far.

Commissioner Doug Breitling told the public, “Don’t get hung up on a draft document,” and Chair Melissa Greene added Planning makes recommendations based on research and deliberation, but city council makes the final decision.

Breitling said in his attempt to define a wedding and distinguish it from a private event, he wanted to limit impact on the neighborhood while still making it clear what a person would need to know to hold a family reunion or a graduation party.

Commissioner Ann Sallee asked if she wanted to host a cocktail fundraiser at her home if she would need to get a permit according to Breitling’s design. Breitling replied she would, but his intent was to make it clear what anyone would need to know about parking requirements, noise, hours and other considerations. He said that what prompted Planning’s work came from events that affected a neighborhood about which Code was not clear enough, therefore difficult to enforce.

Greene said the end result would give law enforcement what it would need to police an event.

Breitling said he would update his document and pass it along to city Economic Development Officer Glenna Booth before presenting it to council.

Response to workshop with city council

Greene stated the discussion with council about proposed changes to Code revealed a loophole related to boarding houses, and she noted no one had asked for a permit for a boarding house, so she suggested they should simply eliminate them from all zones. She forecast boarding houses were “ripe for abuse.”

Breitling commented they had defined boarding houses, but that did not mean they had to allow them.

Vote was unanimous to remove boarding houses from allowed uses in all residential zones.

Commissioners agreed they should schedule another workshop with council.


Commissioners agreed they would order copies of a book on Low Impact Development recommended by Mayor Butch Berry as they begin looking at parts of Code related to subdivisions and development.

Next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept, 12, at 6 p.m.