Elizabethton Planning Commission to consider plat approval for 7-lot subdivision

John Thompson • Nov 5, 2019 at 7:09 PM

ELIZABETHTON — During ordinary times, a seven-lot residential development would not raise a lot of interest with the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission, but with the slow recovery of the area from the recession, this plat may be a welcome portion of the agenda for the planners Thursday evening meeting.

Jon Hartman, Elizabethton’s director of planning, said the plan is the first one of that size to be considered by the commission since the fall of 2017.

The action to be conducted on Thursday is a plat review of a proposed subdivision on land that is now vacant or in agricultural use at the intersection of Hillrise Avenue and Gap Creek Road. The property is zoned low density residential (R-1). The lots range in size from .256 acres to 3.65 acres. Tetrick Interests L.P. is developing the property.

The subdivision is very close to the Mary Patton Highway, which could be an avenue of growth in the future, but it also is close to the developed parts of the city on West G Street. Hartman said it is an area the planners have indicated where development should be encouraged, rather than allowing a sprawl along Mary Patton Highway.

Hartman said Elizabethton has been slow to come out of the latest recession, unlike the faster pace the city exhibited after the recessions of 2001 and 2007. He said the first years after a recession are usually some of the “best years” for economic growth.

Hartman said the labor force has not grown like it usually does coming out of a recession. He said that could be because unemployed people are not trying to get into the labor force.

Hartman suspects the current drug crisis may be having an impact on the economic recovery. He said those who want to find work can find work, but there seems to be more people who are not looking for work. He suspects that could be because of people with substance abuse problems do not think they can find employment.