Headline from The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet, November 21, 2007 – story on page 3
“A major building project has been tabled for now after an explosive debate between Mt. Juliet Mayor Linda Elam, the Mt. Juliet planning commission and area developers rocked the scheduled meeting last Thursday.”
[ . . . ]
“The approval was done under the prior administration, and I would not hazard a guess as to how it came about.”
“The bottom line is, when I realized they were not in compliance I asked for it to be put back on the planning commission agenda,” Elam said. “They decided to reevaluate or reconsider the prior approval, and in the interim instructed Public Works that no permit be given.”
A couple of comments:
First, the Planning Commission has the authority to approve variances from the requirements of the Town Center Overlay Zoning at the time a plan is submitted. There’s nothing irregular, unusual, or illegal about it.
Second, the Mayor does not have the authority to “halt” construction or instruct Public Works that no building permits be issued.
Third, what “prior administration” is the Mayor talking about? The membership of the Planning Commission has not changed. City employees don’t have the authority to approve or disapprove a commercial development – only the Planning Commission can do that. And the Planning Commission members are appointed by the Mayor!!
Fourth, if the City “reconsiders” and revokes approval given to the developer of a business park after he’s already started work on the development – the City may very well be subject to a lawsuit and the liability of substantial financial damages.
Fifth, The Chamber holds a ribbon-cutting and the Mayor halts development – all in the same week? You have got to be kidding me.
Once again, we have the Mayor acting beyond her authority. Is she acting as the Mayor – or as the agent of a rival developer?