"Read all about it"

Posts Tagged ‘land grab’

Conservation Easements are a trap, think twice, then run!

In Agenda 21, Farmers on May 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Property grab any way you look at is still a property grab! Bradley County is being inundated by these conservation easements by many Land Trusts in our area.

Think twice, then run in the other direction when someone dangles the bait out in front of you like a carrot! This is bad mojo and is just another of the attempts by our federal government to take your property and your rights to this property!

When you theoretically sign your property over to this land trust company in perpetuity (forever) your property is essentially of no value to anyone except the true owners of your property, the land trust and the federal government if they decide that property is valuable to them and they want it!

You can’t even water your lawn without their ok or plant flowers or ride your jeep around on the property! Your adjoining neighbor could actually violate the terms of your conservation agreement and you would be held liable! You still pay all the bills such as property taxes, upkeep and repair but you are no longer the owner. You have become a serf on your own property and are now going to be there forever for generations to come. You have just passed slavery to every generation in your future. They will tell you it still belongs to you and that you still have all the rights, well that is not completely true!

Yes, you can tweak the contract and say for example, I want to put a flower garden down by the lake and this info will get passed to the powers that be and if you are lucky you may get to do that. But the property is no longer yours. You are now indebted for the rest of your life to the land trust and the federal government. Not and enviable position to be in.

So What Is Left Of Your
Property Rights?

Conservation Easements Are a Trap

Activities on or use of the property not
consistent with the purpose of the easement are
prohibited under a conservation easement
agreement. The following are some examples of
prohibited activities:

.
1. No soil, trash, liquid or solid waste,
hazardous materials, or pollutants defined by
federal or state law shall be dumped or placed
on the property;
.
2. Activities or uses that will be detrimental
to drainage, flood control, water conservation,
erosion control, soil conservation, or fish and
wildlife habitat conservation;
.
3. Activities or uses detrimental to the
structural integrity or physical appearance of
any portions of the property having historical,
archaeological or cultural significance;
.
4. Planting of invasive exotic plants listed by
the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, and the
grantor shall control invasive exotic plants
on the property; (Forever at the owner’s or
their heir’s expense regardless of cause or
situation.)
.
5. Commercial or industrial activity, or
ingress or egress across or upon the property in
conjunction with any commercial or industrial
activity, except as may be required for the
exercise of the grantor’s reserved rights;
.
6. New construction or placing of buildings,
mobile homes, signs, billboards or other
structures on the property;
.
7. Creation of new roads or jeep trails;
.
8. No more intense agricultural use of the
property than currently exists on the property, if
any, and no conversion of non-agricultural areas
to agricultural use;
.
9. Activities that adversely impact threatened
or endangered species;
.
10. Any subdivision of the land.”3
(All of the above-as interpreted by the
easement holder or anyone, or any group who
purchases said easement in the future.)

1. The right to observe, maintain,
photograph, fish, hunt, introduce and stock
native fish or wildlife on the property, to use
the property for non-commercial hiking,
camping, and horseback riding, in compliance
with federal, state and local laws concerning
such activities;
2. The right to conduct prescribed burning on
the property, provided that the grantor obtain
and comply with the appropriate
authorization from the regulatory agency
having jurisdiction over this activity;
3. The right to harvest timber or other forest
products in accordance with an approved
forest management plan;
4. The right to mortgage the property;
(Common sense dictates that a parcel of land
with clouded property rights is worthless.)
5. The right to use, maintain, repair, and
reconstruct, but not relocate or enlarge, all
existing structures, fences, roads, ponds,
drainage ditches and other facilities on the
property.
As you can see, the terms of these
easements are intentionally written in a very
vague way, subject to interpretation by the
easement holder or the courts.
But the responsibility and expense to maintain
the property as the easement holder demands is
very specific and is “forever.”

The land owners and their heirs, become
mere surfs, slaves to their own property and
subject to the wishes of the easement holder-
they are caught in the Conservation Easement
Trap.

Don’t Let This Happen To YOU!

1. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/wq/lpn/uniform.htm
2. Old Lyme, Connecticut http://www.oldlymect.
gov/Pages/OldLymeCT_BComm/Easement%20Monitoring-OL.pdf
3. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FR149
Presented by the Alliance for Citizens Rights
http://www.alabamapropertyrights.org -www.keepourrights.org

As you read this, hundreds of
well meaning land owners are losing
their homes, their land, and their
children’s inheritance because they
fell for the false promises made to
them by government agencies and
environmental groups. Thousands
more face a similar fate!

Most of these endangered
property owners believed that they
were preserving their land for future
generations. Some believed it was a
way to help their children survive in
the farming or ranching business by
getting badly needed operating cash
in these troubled times.

All loved their land and their
way of life and dreamed of saving
them both from destruction. But now
their land and their dreams are
being brutally taken from them.

They are caught in the
“Conservation Easement
Trap.”

Those who believe that they will be
allowed to continue living on the land or
get a tax write-off or a “tax credit” (which
they can sell to others to generate cash)
are easy targets for this massive, well
planned land grab scheme. This scheme is
designed to steal the rights to your land,
deprive you of its use, and eventually
transfer title to either a government agency
or an environmental group.

As an example: In Colorado right now
hundreds of land owners who used an
easement plan sanctioned by both the
state and Federal governments, are being
threatened with losing everything they own.

You see, once the state of Colorado
realized how much revenue they would
lose because of these land trusts, they
found a way to back out of the deal. When
Colorado backed out, this gave the IRS an
excuse to disallow all tax deductions given
to land owners and also disallow all tax
credits sold on these easements.

The taxes, penalties, and fines
accessed by the IRS amount to more than
the present value of the land. Plus,
individuals who bought “tax credits” from
the land owners are suing to recover their
losses.

With title to the land so clouded, no
individual will buy it, no bank will loan on it,
and it has no economic value to anyone
except the government or the
environmental group who hold the
easement. The IRS will either take the land
or sell it at auction to satisfy the tax debt.

By law, the title holder CANNOT have a
conservation easement on his own land.
Therefore, should the easement holder
also gain title to the land-the easement
automatically goes away!

In the end, the land owners will have lost
everything and the easement holder will
have gained clear, un-encumbered title to
this very valuable property.

The Uniform Conservation Act was created
in 1981 and recommended for use by all states
by the National Conference of Commissioners
on Uniform State Laws.

A conservation easement is an encumbrance sometimes including a transfer of usage rights (easement) — which creates a legally
enforceable land preservation agreement
between a landowner and a government agency
(municipality, county, state, federal) or a
qualified land protection organization (often
called a “land trust”), for the purposes of
conservation. It restricts real estate
development, commercial and industrial uses,
and certain other activities on a property to a
mutually agreed upon level. The property
remains the private property of the landowner.
The decision to place a conservation
easement on a property is strictly a voluntary
one where the easement is sold or donated. The
restrictions of the easement, once set in place,
“run with the land” and are binding on all future
owners of the property (in other words, the
restrictions are perpetual). The restrictions are
spelled out in a legal document that is recorded
in the local land records and the easement
becomes a part of the chain of title for the
property. Thus, a potential buyer of the
property would limit his offer to the value of the
few remaining property rights.

Violations

The following is common policy for
governments (local & state) that enacted the
model Conservation Easement Act:

“An easement violation may be
discovered through a visit or by
casual observation or reported by a
third party. The violation may have
been caused by the property owner, an
adjacent property owner or a third
party trespasser.”

(Consider carefully the last sentence – an
action by a neighbor or a trespasser could be
declared a “violation” with you as the
responsible party.)
Serious violations, the policy concludes,
prohibit construction or subdivision, (dividing
your property i.e. to give a lot to a child)
excavation, and timbering without an approved
forest management plan. All of the forgoing
“require a swift and definitive response.”
Rights Granted to the Grantee (easement
holder) MAY include but is not limited to the
following”
“1.The right to preserve and protect the
conservation values of the property;
2. The right to enter the property at reasonable
times in order to monitor compliance with the
agreement;
3. The right to prevent any activity on or use of
the property that is not consistent with the
purpose or provisions of the easement and to
require the restoration of areas or features of
the property that may be damaged by
inconsistent activity or use at the grantor’s
(owner’s) cost;
4.The right of first refusal to purchase the
property in fee if the grantor proposes to sell
the property to a third party other than a lineal
descendant, and the right to purchase the
property from the estate or trust of the grantor
(void if easement is a charitable donation for no
consideration);
5. The right to be indemnified by grantor for
any and all liability, loss, damage, expense,
judgment or claim arising out of any
negligence, willful action or activity resulting
from the grantor’s use of the property or use of
the property by the grantor’s agents, guests,
lessees, or invitees.”3 (The easement holder has
no liability, it all falls on the property owner.)

Source of info: Bear Witness Central, visit the blog site, very interesting and informative!

Advertisements

Community gives growth plan thumbs down, police called, tyranny reigns in Bradley County!

In Agenda 21, Government on March 20, 2012 at 7:24 AM

As I stood watching the endless line of bureaucrats file into the Cleveland Bradley Public Library with the familiar easel, rolled up maps, worn out suits and clip boards listening to the steady beat of size 12 leather hills tapping the library granite corridor floor like a desperate prisoner chiseling his way out of prison! Perhaps this was none of the above and it was simply the melodious thump of a well orchestrated drum line! I couldn’t help but sense a sinister coup was in full operation mode while unknowingly the ill-informed citizen lurks outside, quietly foiling their lonely existence. We were about to see the covert operation unfold right before our eyes. I was there and no one invited me!

I soon realized that the fate of our county was being handed to these bureaucrats of a greater scheme! One thing that was overwhelmingly missing from that long line of mostly self-appointed dignitaries was that there were only a few, if any “regular, Joe Schmo citizens” filing into the room!

They all say “well, I am a citizen too!”, “right?” Of course you are, but a citizen that has either been appointed to a board, a commission, a review panel or a growth panel yielding influence or persuasion about a multi billion dollar project no longer qualifies you as a “regular citizen” that is not connected to the steam roller that is running over the people and taking away their rights! Sorry, but that is how we roll! If you are on one of the many numerous boards or commissions that yield the opinion or vote, your presence in the room no longer qualified you as an unbiased citizen. I saw 3 and I was 1!

If not for a very alert informant, we could have missed this potential consensus party! Had the two other citizens not been informed when we were this would have been one big communal love fest orgy of planners and bureaucrats yielding their proverbial wands to each other for the ultimate compliment and certain approval!

Can you imagine how one-sided this meeting could have gone and been accepted if those darn citizens hadn’t gotten in the way and raised legitimate questions about property rights and our sovereignty? Whew!

I was a little hurt that I didn’t get a formal invite or email notification about this party! But hey, I’ve been left off invitation lists before! There was this one time while in DC Ronald Reagan left me off the guest list, never mind! Wasted trip, another blog! But you get the drift!

I am now the red-haired step child of the local leftist Socialistic, Democratic planning movement! You know, that guy with no date to the prom, sorta shy and not quite cute enough to score the prom queen, ok, lets save that for another blog too! I have been saying that alot lately! Maybe, I am under the spell of the planners in BC! Oh well, save that one………..for another…… Oh you know……..blog!

I guess when you invite a regular concerned citizen, you might get a few questions asked and God forbid that happen when consensus is trying to be obtained! How better to gain consensus than to make sure no citizens were at this perceived public meeting! Silly me! Maybe my expectations were too high! I consider myself a pretty alert and informed kinda guy! I was left out of the plans! I was left out! Wait! Dejavu! Prom all ov er again! You know that potential night with high expectations that is one unanswered proposal from wearing a tux, a bow tie and a silly grin with deteriorating lamb skin rotting away inside his wallet! They disguised this one well! They hid this one well!

They were almost successful pulling this meeting off without one uninvolved citizen that wouldn’t benefit from the implementation of this growth plan!

I strolled in behind the only other two citizens Karen and Dan and we sat among the modest crowd of Bradley County “Elite!” You know those people that only their momma could love! That was a joke! I can hear now ” and that Blogger called me ugly too!”

Meeting the other two citizens in the room was brief and we went to meeting the other “decision makers!” Lets see to look around the room. There is Commissioners Mel, Woods, Caywood, Rominger, Greg Dale and his associates, Mayor of Charleston, the usual group of Chamber of Commerce rulers, planners galore, old, young, past and present and in between, various suits with Clarion clipboards, Emily, chairmen of the planning commission, wives and girlfriends of those people, oh yeah and don’t forget the old grey haired lady on the front row that has the police on speed dial who happens to be on one of the planning commissions! (that’s another story for another blog) but you see the plan!

Notify every one but the people that will be affected by the plan who will ultimately be footing the bill with their hard earned tax dollars were in the room or so it seemed!

0915 approached and the crowd of 40 to 50 fully involved citizens filed to their seats! The intros were short and the slides were popping!

After a brief introduction by Greg Dale of consultants McBride Dale and Clarion he handed it off to his able bodied comrade, Emily!

The very first slide, reportedly, a compilation of the top desires of the different breakout tables from the last meeting on January 30th! You know, those things that concerned citizens would like to hear more about! Property rights, impending plan costs, not implementing the growth plan, new taxes! Those things that concerns the everyday struggling citizen!

Transportation!

Transportation?

Not having to drive your car everywhere, getting a bicycle and riding everywhere! More Greenways! Putting all of our house on a pin head and have your bank, grocery store dry cleaners and everything at the bottom of your high rise so we can cut down on Green house gases, electric outlets for electric car? Does this sound like something brought up by the concerned citizens of Bradley County! Give me a break!!! This is from a planners playbook and a cookie cutter recipe that is shown by our consultants all over the United States! There was no “new slide” made up for just Bradley County! I would bet and I bet there are slide presentations out there with the exact same things on it from the exact same consultant!

Infrastructure?

Sewers?

Quality of life?

The list went on and on! The crowd was complicit and the speaker lulling us into a deep sleep of acceptance, the planners drool was now pasted onto my shirt. The subliminal messages were streaming from the speaker system, the fresh scent of brewing coffee now lingered over the doughnuts in the back of the room. A complete whitewash, a steady current of blah blah blah was now all I could hear and the crowd of dignitaries were proud of the work their consultants had done on compiling the data!

What about property rights? Sleepy heads and partially confused men turned to me as if I had just awakened them! What about our property rights? A huge component was missing on your compiled data? Tables 7, 8 and 9 were all very concerned about property rights and not a single mention of it on your slides? Eminent domain, tearing down buildings, new land use regulations, building codes, cost, new taxes, decreasing urban sprawl, firing the consultants, devising our own plan, promoting the free market. Those are the things we were concerned about and none of them got in the board! Why not?

Mr Dale speaks up and gently nudges the speaker back as she is more or less yelling and very confrontational at this point!

Property rights! We are concerned about property rights. We will be putting together more data with that information in it! I essence, he told me these were manufactured cookie cutter slides and we didn’t put them on a new slide because frankly we only want to show you what we want you to see and take your half million or more fee to blow smoke right up your behinds!

Every slide was presented as if it was the first time the room had heard it! The speaker became more and more agitated ad the presentation went on and the questions kept pouring in!

At one point, Mr Dale, said to the 3 citizens in the room “are you going to let this meeting go on or are you going to keep asking questions?” The immediate response was “uh NO, we have questions!” Commissioner Caywood, much like Commissioner Woods in the last meeting chimed in against the people asking legitimate questions, he pipes in and says and I paraphrase “I came here to learn about this, I have a family, a business and I’m giving of my time to be here so citizens with legit questions, shut the heck up!” he went on to sat “Majority rules in America, in a democracy!” Let me correct you here Mr Caywood, Majority does rule in a democracy, but we are a Republic and every vote counts! We are not yet a colony once again under the rule of kings, close but not yet! Commissioner Woods, was silent this round of tyranny and attempts at squashing our first amendment rights! Somebody must have read her the constitution, you know the part where we can challenge our government to make sure they don’t get too big for their britches! Restraint is a good fit Commissioner, shows maturity!

The spirited banter intensified and just as our founding fathers began to smile, just like clock work, the partially blonde/grey haired old lady, just as the last time steps out into the hallway and fires up her cell phone and calls for police backup because the three unwelcome guests were “gettin rowdy!” The full court press to squelch the voice of the people was on and the “people were bobbing and weaving to counter the proverbial punch of a government run amuck!

Two policemen follow her into the room and she sits beside the familiar man just as before with a Cheshire grin that could have taken on the trophy for her kennel! Success! Escort them out please! They have spoken and we all know commoners don’t dare speak in the presence of royalty! Bow to me young man and your two disobedient and irreverent scribes! Fetch my coat, I must relieve myself of these swine!

The funny thing about calling the police and she soon realized was, they are and have been on the side of the people. This is constitutionally what a sherrif and his deputies are sworn to do

Fortunately, at least most of them are here to serve and protect the peoples rights! They tell me as I sauntered to the back of the room, ” We are not going to arrest anyone that challenges or asks questions of an elected official or appointed board in a public meeting!” They think it is hilarious that our local government wants to squash it’s peoples rights! The Sherrifs in this town have made it no secret that they are here to serve and protect the people, not be a strong arm for the representatives of government or the selfish desires of an old woman! Whatever this woman is trying to do here, this is not Chicago or DC! We are well represented by our law officers and they are watching out for our well being!

Old lady do as you please, it is your right to be tyrannical , but remember in America at least for now, is not against the law! The Constitution still gives me the right to peacefully address my government and hold them accountable for their actions! So lay off the 911 calls for dignity sakes! It makes you look so pretentious and smug!

As I said clearly in the meeting, I respect the uniform and the position, but I do not fear standing up and speaking up in a public meeting!

Public facilities?

Did I go to the same meeting? The meeting I went to was so bombarded with citizen concerns that they hardly had time to discuss any of the plans! Some of my high faluting friends tell me this is what you call a fix! Consensus! Where you stay on course regardless of the questions and concerns, then it looks like everyone is in agreement!

For real? Public facilities, bathrooms and a Tom Rowland Convention Center is the most pressing thing on the table? Really? We are paying these consultants to tell me the same thing they tell every community! In fact when I asked Greg Dale this question he said and again I’m paraphrasing, he said that many communities have the same concerns, thats why all these sound the same from community to community!

We have just called you out on your same old outdated slides and you want me to buy your spill and let you implement a growth plan that will tax me well into the next century and burden my great grand children! Are you kidding me?

The meeting came to a sudden halt and once again we were broken off into 3 groups and discussed bringing everyone into our Urban Growth boundary and decrease sprawl in the rural areas, give everybody a bike and tell them to walk on the greenway under the guidance of the EPA, HUD, UN and the
DOT!

The meeting like the others did not meet consensus or even get close! The meeting from my observation was a failure! We have a plan for growth that is being poorly presented by consultants that are highly overpaid and have a very sinister under belly to them! We have reporters on this issue and we are collaborating some very disturbing trends!

What we have here is big government trying to get bigger! We have our taxes going up as a result! We have a few in government who are overreaching in their powers!

A citizenry that is being bypassed by a group of bureaucrats that feel they know better and are being briskly tugged by the almighty dollar in the form of multiple federal grants!

We are doomed and we have the deck stacked against us! The people’s voice in Bradley County is no longer! The republic and what it stands for is diminishing by the assistane of planners in a very finance rich environment that are using the crutches of government to fulfill their edicts from DC!

It is a sad day for our country! Our representative form of government is the ruling word in our world. The hell with the people! They are just in the way?

Our founding fathers laid out the framework, the people enforce the constitution and government resets it’s own set of rules and yet tyranny prevails!

I’ll save this next thought for another blog!

Bradley County land grab under way by forced annexation! Feeling a little like Clint Eastwood!

In Agenda 21, Government on February 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Land grab? Yes! The city is launching an all out assault on your property! The city has decided to annex a large portion of Bradley County! See details in article below!

Where are our locally elected officials? Let me tell you where they are! They are mum, silent and 100 percent complicit with this forced annexation! Why? Let me tell you! They will be getting more of your money! It’s that simple!

This is essentially a new tax that you will not get to vote on! Do I have the hair on the back of your neck standing erect yet?

My understanding is now you get to pay city and county taxes if you live within the Mouse Creek Corridor around all the new large corporations, truckstops to exit 33. There was even discussion about annexing Walker Valley into the city but it was determined that the extra tax burden wouldnt help the school at all. But tax you more? Oh yeah baby, no problem there! Pile it on! Anyone concerned? Anyone awake yet?

Why are our county elected officials not concerned that the city is eating up your property…..exactly, MORE MONEY, MORE REVENUE! That one factor that will close the lips of a politician faster than a serving of the ex in laws mince meat pie!

Think it will stop at the Mouse Creek Corridor, exit 33, Wacker and Amazon, nope! The Dream of our City mayor is to have a Metropolitan government! All inclusive, one big tax generating machine to the Chattanooga border! “Only 5 more miles” from Cleveland to Chattanooga! Ooltewah is the only thing stopping them and I’m sure they are contemplating how to break that up to benefit both Mayor Littlefield and our mayors! Think I’m kidding? Call and ask about this annexation that is being forced on you, I dare you!

Now be prepared for a smoke chimney to be neatly placed behind you and copious amounts of smoke generated and blown up your backside, but call and ask! Call and ask your City or County Commisioners? Heck even call your State Representatives Kevin Brooks or Eric Watson! I personally doubt they will tell you much about it, but I promise you they “may have heard about it!”

Get informed Bradley County, the current elected leaders are complacent, been there too long! Are all about the money and are blind to your needs! Step up and get involved! Wake up from your slumber!

This is where Clint works his magic! Read with caution! I warn you it gets a little…..steamy! Hopefully by now you are coming along with me as I reveal the Eastwood mystique! You are perhaps now awakening, just read the paper, hair tassled and still in your PJs, preparing to embark on your day and are still wiping the sleep from the corners of your eyes! While sipping that first cup of java, peering like steel over the brim through the steam, ask your bride with a Clint Eastwood scowl, “what the heck are the people that were elected by us doing to my community and why!” Resist the urge to look away! Then take a bite of your biscuit and gravy, while clearing the residue from the corner of your mouth, one eye closed, look up at your bride with a mocking growl in the back of your throat and repeat after me…this may make your throat…. But say to her….. “Baby, I think something is awry and sideways in our town!” “It’s high time we speak up and stop this madness!” Just over the rim of your coffee cup, steam now collecting on your forehead, manage to open one eye and allow it to twinkle a little bit, she now begins to squirm a bit in her chair as memories of you 25 years younger, edgier and more robust than ever jump through her head and she winks a flirtatious approval of her reformed man now standing up for what he believes in!

As the heat in the room continues to rise, resist the urge to pull your nose off the brim of your coffee cup, because its working for you! From the steam you continue to stare through while now connecting with her soul, she’s putty in your hands! Relate to her ever so gingerly the scope of this forced annexation on your budget and your lifestyle together! The weekend shopping trips, the occasional jaunt to the Smokies, that little extra socked away for a rainy day, college fund ?……done, no more! Those pipe dreams just went down the drain with the bath water! That extra money is now being turned over to the government! The smile may go away but she will be proud of her man for at least sounding good over breakfast, but the stark obvious reality remains the same!

These characters are going to do whatever they want regardless of the encroachment on your life! The mighty dollar speaks louder than the call of humanity! This scenario though lighthearted should scare you, it did me but it provided for one interesting morning!

Its not what you think! Get your minds out of the gutter! My wife fell off her chair, flipped the table and I ended up with a tender nose and a lap of hot greasy gravy! Ouch! At least for a moment I thought I was Clint and she was starting to respond……a little!

The first paragraph should really concern anyone in Bradley County! Impromptu meeting to discuss annexation and oh yeah a flood plain study, spending another 300,000.00 dollars of your hard earned cash to define open space of course!

City to launch Mouse Creek corridor annexation
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor

The Cleveland City Council passed two impromptu resolutions Monday that directed staff to begin the process of annexation and invite Bradley County to participate in a countywide floodplain study.

The Council voted unanimously to direct staff to begin the process of annexing the Mouse Creek corridor all the way to Cleveland Utilities Waste Water Treatment Plant on the Hiwassee River.

The corridor includes Wacker Polysilicon North America, Amazon.com, East Coast Lighting Distribution Center and two truck stops at Exit 33 of Interstate 75.

The Mouse Creek corridor would have to be brought into the urban growth boundary in two pieces. The first annexation could not take place before 2013.

The process of annexation begins by expanding the city’s urban growth boundary which is about a six-month process. The area is attractive to the city because municipalities are required to provide services to incorporated areas and sewer service is the most expensive cost up front. However, that service is available to residents along the existing sewer main between the city and the treatment plant.

“Any area already served by sewer is obviously not going to impact like it would if we took a subdivision they couldn’t get sewer to,” said Development and Engineering Services Director Jonathan Jobe. “When we did our study on Mouse Creek Road, there was talk about another interstate exit where you could alleviate a lot of traffic off Mouse Creek Road and that would be something you’d want to initiate.”

The city includes an area of 28.77 square miles. By law, the Council can annex 25 percent of the city’s area every two years, which amounts to about seven square miles.

The last major expansion of the urban growth boundary and annexation occurred in October 2010 when the city extended its boundary southward to bring in the proposed 343-acre Spring Branch Industrial Park. Also included in the expanded growth boundary was the 357-acre Cleveland Municipal Airport alongside Michigan Avenue Road and Dry Valley Road. The Council only recently completed annexation of the 357-acre municipal airport.

Hardwick Farm, which includes about 678 acres between Stuart Road and Tasso Lane, and from North Lee Highway up to Urbane Road is scheduled to be incorporated into the city in February 2012. The plan does not include existing subdivisions between the farm and Urbane Road.

The other impromptu resolution simply directs City Manager Janice Casteel to invite Bradley County to participate in a countywide floodplain study. The city has allocated $300,000 to fund the local share of a floodplain study in the city.

On other regular agenda items, the Council passed the following by a 7-0 vote:

– Resolution 2011-107 approved an additional and amended contract with Warren Moberg and David Watts, for providing services to meet the requirements of the Targeted Crime Reduction Grant.

n Ordinance 2011-26 to rezone 357 acres of the new airport property at 4505 Michigan Avenue Road N.E. and 261 Dry Valley Road N.E. from Rural Agriculture (RA) to Light Industrial (IL).

– Ordinance 2011-27 for rezoning a property yet to be addressed on Michigan Avenue Road Industrial Highway (IH) to High Density Single and Multi-family Dwelling District (R3).

– Ordinance 2011-28 for rezoning a property yet to be addressed on Peach Orchard Hill Drive from Single Residential (RI) to Low Density Residential (R2).

– Ordinance 2011-29 to amend the Zoning Code’s downtown parking requirements.

– Ordinance 2011-30 to amend PUD8 on 25thStreet/APD40 to change the number of units in Phase II from 144 to 112. (p. 24-38).

Annexation: Floating loans, flag lots, expanding UGB, new taxes, just to build an access road in Bradley County

In Agenda 21, Government on January 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM

`That government can scarcely be deemed to be free, where the rights of property are left solely dependent upon the will of a legislative body, without any restraint. The fundamental maxims of a free government seem to require; that the rights of personal liberty and private property, should be held sacred.’ _ Justice Story

City Council moving to make the county happy! What in the world is going on in Bradley County! Annex this, don’t annex that! This is already in the Urban Growth Boundary but we will annex it any way! Whirlpool executives “watching the development closely!” Floating short term bonds at 2 to 3 percent interest for 12 to 20 years! Flag lots shooting out from main roads, creating costly and demanding land use regulations on it’s citizens! All of this over an access road to a plant! Good lord people of Bradley County and Cleveland! Can you believe this latest hellabaloo is over a road that gives access to a plant?

One road…..to pay for it we are borrowing our own money, financing it and we have no forseeable way of paying for it! What on Gods green Earth are we going to do when we have a real dilemma like the one coming up at the end of the month when a comprehensive growth plan is put into action! This albatross is going to cost us conservatively 6 to 10 billion and no promises it will stay that low! In fact no one knows what it will cost but one thing I can tell you is not one person has debunked that cost estimate yet!

You are seeing the dilemma we are having with one road thats going to cost the taxpayer about 20 to 30 million, this is one road! We have hundreds to build with a comprehensive plan! This one we are loaning the money out and placed on a payment plan for 12 to 20 years on your dime, this is borrowed money for one road!

Can you imagine the cost load on you the private citizen to pay for this huge comprehensive growth plan? Can you imagine what will happen to our local economy when we keep stacking layers of debt on top of each other? Can you feel the strain on our economy if our city and county mayors and planners have their way!

What we have done is disrupted the open free market! Instead of letting the market take care of itself by demand we have politically selected the businesses we want to survive and have forced an unnatural selection process!

We have decided forcibly who survives and who does not! The end result through this selective narrow process is we have placed the burden of this selection on you the taxpayer instead of letting capitalism run it’s course!

We have squeezed out the “little guy” by charting the course of the free market, which in turn it goes from being free to a being a pawn of local government! This is a disaster waiting to happen, an economy just waiting to hit the iceberg so to speak, much like the Titanic!

Our demise is near! Our Mayors are setting the course! Let their legacy be along with the council and commission they manipulate be the heirs solely responsible for our future collapse! Don’t listen to the premeditated talking points that this is good for our economy! Add it up for your self and you tell me if it is good for the economy! When you do the math, you know this is not better for you! Ask who this is really good for! The answer will not surprise you!

Sure we get a little grant money, guess what happens when the Federal grant money runs out? We are left holding the bag and the bag will be heavy! Proportionately with every new debt that our locally elected representatives place on us the greater the burden on you and your future generations! Our planners and mayors cam not be looking to the future with clear goggles! If they were they would take off in the other direction an run for the hills! The debt load on future citizens will be great and potentially one that will not be able to stand the load! So everytime you hear annexation, comprehensive Growth plan, new roads or schools think about that heavy load they must carry and consider this! Will it be worth it if our future generations cannot afford to live in it!

Council moving to annex property
by By DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor 5 hrs ago | 285 views | 0  | 1  |  | 
The Cleveland City Council has moved to help break the deadlock between it and the Bradley County Commission over how much each local government will pay for right of way acquisition for road improvements to the new Whirlpool plant on Benton Pike.

The city agreed to annex property along Durkee Road and Benton Pike already in the urban growth boundary in order for the city to share equally with Bradley County.

The Council will also float a short-term bond to pay for the project. The bond could either be variable or fixed rate. Options include a capital outlay note for 12 years for $2 million. It would be at a fixed rate at 2.39 percent. The other two proposals are for variable rate debt for 20 years, and for fixed rate debt set up to be amortized over 20 years, but required to be renewed after five or seven years.

Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said she did not recommend the capital outlay note since the county will repay its portion within four years, which would leave the city with the option of doing the same.

The Council is expected to make a decision at its Jan. 23 meeting.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is funding 100 percent of the construction cost and 50 percent of property acquisition under the State Industrial Access road program. City and county governments must pay the remaining half of right of way acquisition before the state proceeds to widen Benton Pike (between APD 40 and Michigan Avenue Road) to three lanes and to widen the two lanes and shoulders of Durkee Road between Benton Pike and U.S. Highway 64.

Casteel said the annexation plan would affect property along the length of Durkee Road, including flag lots.

According to the financial website Bankrate.com, “Flag lots are so named because of the long, slender strips of land resembling flag poles that extend from the typically rectangular main sections of these lots — or the ‘flags’ — out to the street. Each ‘flag pole’ typically provides just enough frontage for vehicle access and is often shared by several neighbors.”

“[The annexation] actually takes in the boat company as well because it is a flag lot,” Casteel said. “You think of it as being on Highway 64, but technically, it’s a flag lot off of Durkee Road. The reason we’re looking at this so hastily is because if you would like to participate in the funding with Bradley County, then Durkee Road needs to be in the city prior to any commitment to sharing that funding.”

Through annexation, the Council would only pay for areas of the project within the city limits.

Mayor Tom Rowland said Whirlpool corporate officials in Benton Harbor, Mich. are closely watching the progress made toward getting the road built.

“They consider the city and county as the local governmental entity. They don’t look at us as two separate entities,” the mayor said. “They are very concerned and want us to get along with this project.”

The city will provide funds to TDOT in the amount of $1.998 million to purchase additional ROW and pay for additional utility costs. According to TDOT’s estimated costs as of Oct. 4, 2011, subject to the city’s successful annexation of the property and if the County Commission agrees to reimburse the city for its share of the costs, including proportionate fees including accrued interest on the county’s portion. Repayment is to be made within four years from the date funds are transferred to TDOT for the project.

The Bradley County Commission would also be required to amend the Minnis Road sewer agreement for Park View Elementary School. Under the amended agreement made June 24, 2009, the county would forgive the city of any further costs related to that project, which would be about $450,000.

The County Commission will vote on the agreement at a later date.
Share This Article |
similar stories
Final passage of annexation considered | 15 months ago
Speed of annexation move surprises many | 16 months ago
Cleveland planners approve annexation plan | 16 months ago

Conservation Easements (CE’s): Read the fine print before you sign

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM

Bradley Countians beware of the latest tool to grab your land by Conservation Easement! A plan that at any given time could turn on you and rip your property rights away from you in a minute! Sure, as they say it is all voluntary and its all up to the property owner to do what they want with their own property! The individual should have the right! Right?

Just as the property owner does indeed have the right, the trickery is in the vagueness in the wording of the contract that can come back and bite that person in the backside a few years down the road!

Think about it? Why do you need a Land Trust to have control of your property? Why is their this big push by these private entities acting as government officials to claim the rights to your land? Can’t the owner simply keep his or her property rights and simply tell his heirs what they want to do with their land by deed! After all you can’t touch my land anyway without my approval! Its the money and the small tax break you may get! Isn’t it funny that so little money can make you give up the farm for a false security which is man made and can never be regained once lost! Read on and let me know what you think! Pleasure me with some good conversation about this! Enjoy!

The PPJ Gazette
by W.R. McAfee, Sr.
________________________________________________

”A normal easement by a landowner usually grants a right to someone to do something on the landowner’s property; but a conservation easement gives away the landowner’s rights to do something on his or her own property.
Land trusts and environmental groups regularly use conservation easements to take control of private property.”
_________________________________________________
Read the fine print before you sign

A basic Constitutional tenet of private property ownership in America is the landowner’s right to determine the use and disposition of his or her land. This ownership gives the property owner the right to occupy, use, lease, sell, develop, and deny public access to his or her land.

Today, landowners can lose these rights simply by signing a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ conservation easement (CE) offered by ‘nonprofit-environmental-friendly’ land trusts, NGO environmental organizations, or government agencies unless the easement has been worded to protect the landowner’s rights.

The growing number of land trusts

In the early 1950s, there were some 50 land trusts in the U.S.  Today, there are more than 1,700.  Among the largest are the:
Nature Conservancy (TNC),
American Farmland Trust (AFT),
Conservation Fund, and
Trust for Public Land.

Land trusts exist to remove private property from production
They do this by acquiring ranch, farm, forest, or other private land either through donation, purchase, or by acquiring CEs to property as well as water.  They act as unofficial arms of government agencies—third party intermediaries or ‘land agents’—and routinely flip (sell) donated as well as purchased land and CEs to these government agencies.  When they do, they’re paid with tax dollars which, in turn, are used to purchase more private property.

In 1994, the Government Accounting Office reported approximately 61 percent of the Trust for Public Land’s operating revenue was gained from the sale of donated land.

In 2001, the U.S. Forest Service and TNC signed a five-year ‘memorandum of understanding’ to ‘protect the land’ from things like ‘invasive species’ which, according to some eastern congressmen, includes cattle that graze federal land even though their owners pay the government a per unit (head) fee to graze it.

That same year, government officials at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, made available to the TNC several million dollars to acquire water rights from private property owners around the base through the use of conservation easements.
Primary recipients of land trust acquisitions are the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Government already owns almost half the land in America.
Why land trusts are used to acquire land for the government
Government agencies are prohibited by the Constitution from buying land within a state unless the sale is approved by that state’s legislature—a pesky, time-consuming process that usually has to withstand legislative scrutiny and public debate as the Founders intended. Article I, §8, 01.07 of the Constitution states that:
[Congress is authorized] “…To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States (emphasis added), and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be (emphasis added), for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings…”

Once fed agencies gain control of private property, they have difficulty maintaining it.  The reason being the money to purchase the land comes to them unearned in the form of tax dollars.  In April 2002, the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General estimated the agency had an $8-11 billion dollar maintenance backlog affecting land and facilities it already owned.

Lester Thurow gave a good explanation why this happens in 1986 when he wrote:
“… government ownership of production fails because it cannot answer the   question:  Who should stay up all night with a sick cow?

“In America, it’s the owner. In a socialist country, the answer isn’t clear and is often—no one.”
Land trusts operate with few restrictions
Land trusts are under few restrictions when it comes to landowner transactions. They:
Buy targeted land (a ranch, farm, or private property location) for federal agencies when it becomes available; then hold the land until the agency that wants it has the tax dollars to buy it.
Provide what appears to sellers an alternative to having to deal directly with government agencies.
Are not required to buy a real estate license or provide full disclosure of their transactions.

Can be less than forthcoming about their agenda when signing up  ‘willing sellers’; often conducting their ‘real estate transactions’ in a manner that best suits their causes and goals.
Are generally accountable only to their boards.
Mostly are immune from civil and criminal litigation due to hold harmless clauses in their ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE agreements.
Congress won’t check these land trusts.

Conservation Easements take private property rights away from landowners

A normal easement by a landowner usually grants a right to someone to do something on the landowner’s property; but a conservation easement gives away the landowner’s rights to do something on his or her own property.

Land trusts and environmental groups regularly use conservation easements to take control of private property.

Read the fine print before you sign a CE

If a landowner is seeking a CE to reduce taxes on a part of his or her property, then he or she must make sure the easement agreement meets the required IRS codes.
To meet IRS requirements for a tax deduction, the CE must include the following:
Be granted in perpetuity (forever) to a government agency or ‘nonprofit’ land trust or organization,
Prohibit all surface mining on the easement, including oil and gas exploration, and
Allow public access onto the easement if the leaseholder—the party with whom the landowner signs the easement agreement—so specifies.

Beware the ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE

‘Standard’ or ‘model’ CEs offered by government agencies, land trusts, and environmental organizations to landowners as a means to reduce taxes can later lead to problems if landowners sign the agreement without fully understanding its contents. For example:

Their children and their heirs are bound forever by what’s written into the CE.
They can’t build, drill, or put a road on the CE without the leaseholder’s permission.
They can’t lease or sell the CE to another party.
They can’t develop the CE.
They’re still responsible for taxes on the CE.
They’re still responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, improvement, and financial support for the CE.
Leaseholders can enforce CE requirements
Many landowners don’t realize the recipient of their CE—their leaseholder—becomes the fulltime landlord and dominant partner over their easement land after a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed.  Plus, the leaseholder can enforce the requirements of the CE on the landowner and has the authority to:
Review and approve the landowner’s activities on the CE,
Monitor the landowner’s ongoing use of the CE and visit the property any time to ensure all CE restrictions are being met, and
Legally enforce the CE’s restrictions on the landowner if the leaseholder feels they aren’t being met.
CEs affect the value of private land
The value of CE land—other than that realized through a reduced tax rate on the CE property—drops dramatically once the CE is signed.
It becomes difficult—if not impossible—to borrow against CE land because avenues for foreclosure are extremely limited for the lender if there’s a default on the loan.
Title insurance on CE land becomes difficult to obtain.
Developers are hesitant to buy land attached or adjacent to a CE
A landowner’s CE can be conveyed
The easement holder—the party or organization with whom a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed—can convey a landowner’s easement to a third party without the landowner’s permission.
The landowner has no control over the boards that govern either the actions of his or her easement holder, or the third party group to whom the CE is conveyed by the assignee.
Vague terms in a CE can be costly

Lease holder boards can and often do interpret vague, general terms and wording in  ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE agreements in ways that help their (environmental) organizations meet goals and agendas; thus putting the landowner at the mercy of the officials who govern his or her CE.

An example of a vague, general term is the phrase “…no use inconsistent with the conservation purpose of this easement…”
This harmless-sounding statement purposely leaves the door open for leaseholder boards to change the interpretation of what’s allowable on a landowner’s CE, and can put his or her heirs in court with the leaseholder.

Litigation can be expensive

Litigation resulting from ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CEs can be costly for landowners in face-offs with organizations like the Trust for Public Land or TNC who stay flush with tax dollars from:
Land sold to government agencies,
Tax deductible donations from multi-national and Fortune 500 corporations, and
Donations from wealthy individuals and endowed charitable trusts friendly to environmentalists.
Extensive litigation usually follows, but if the CE wasn’t worded to protect the landowner to begin with—and it has been signed—then he or she usually is out of luck.
Other situations can arise after a ‘standard’ or ‘model’ CE is signed.
For example, a state highway department may want to condemn a portion of the CE for a new road right-of-way.  When they do, they normally pay the lower value of the land that resulted after the CE was signed.

Then, once the road is in, the landowner cannot—unless it’s written into his or her CE—put in a business, franchise, or gas station alongside the new road because the standard easement rules will still apply to the remaining land.

Advice for landowners considering CEs

Get good, solid legal advice from an experienced real estate transaction lawyer.
Draft the CE in specific, limited terms that will protect your rights.
List the terms and length of the easement.
Draft the easement so that you are the dominant estate partner in the agreement.
Write into your CE a no assignment provision.  In other words, the organization with which you’re signing the CE must have your permission before they assign your easement to a third party.
Strike any hold harmless language or clauses in the CE that the organization wanting the CE seeks. For example, The Nature Conservancy and other land trusts often want you to indemnify them in the CE with language or clauses. Don’t!

Get good accounting advice as well.

If a landowner feels it is in his or her best interest to sign land over to an organization, then the landowner should:
Get good accounting advice and make sure the CE meets the required IRS codes and regulations for a tax deduction before the agreement is signed.  The landowner—not the recipient of the CE—is responsible for this.
Pick a good organization with whom to sign a CE.  Environmental groups and land trusts are not landowner friendly.
There are other ways to reduce your property and estate taxes. Find a good, experienced, estate tax attorney, sit down with him or her, and explore your alternatives.
Finally, a landowner needs to look at two layers within his or her CE.
Will your CE partner accept your terms for the easement?
Will the IRS accept your CE and allow you the deductions if reduced taxes on your property is one of your goals?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, then a landowner needs to re-examine the CE he or she is about to sign.
References
* Information compiled from notes taken at a 2004 presentation on Conservation Easements by attorney Paul M. Terrill, III, of Hazen & Terrill, P.C., Austin, Texas, at the Stewards of the Range annual conference and meeting, Reno, Nevada, and from GAO

Supreme Court Justices Blast EPA For Thwarting Couple From Building On Protected Wetlands

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Thank God there are still a few conservative judges rendering bold decisions in America. Judge Antoine Scalia ruled in a case recently that the EPA cannot keep a couple from building a house on their own land because of established “wetlands.”

This family, the Sacketts, attempting to live out the American Dream, work hard, buy a piece of land then build a nice house on that private property which they own!

Well that dream was almost foiled by the EPA stepping in and saying NO you can’t build on that piece of property you bought because it has had some flooding problems in the past! That dirt you have piled up there where you were going to build your house must be removed so the water can flow naturally!

Bradley County is doing a very expensive and expansive “flood plain study” real soon! After this study is done with I’m sure EPA and DOT oversight, definite flood plains will be established! Doesn’t seem so bad does it? After all we need to know where it is flooding, right? Well the flood plains are going to be places you cannot build upon! These will be wetlands, soon to be inhabitable! Does this not send any “red alerts” out? Does this seem alarming to anyone? Gaurantee you it will happen! And the flood plain can be as big and broad as any of our paid federal stooges want it to be! So if they want a piece of land they take it! They make it a wetland, unbuildable! Unbelievable!

Bradley County and Cleveland your mayors x 2 are giving us away to federal regulators! They both have moved toward this goal of grabbing your land with obviously no consequences for their actions!

I am in shock at the lack of forethought and inactivity among our political leaders that are not trying to stop this madness. The thoughts of someone trying to claim your private property with federal regulations should be enough to mount a full court press against the EPA, but I get nothing! No reaction whatsoever, just silence while they pile on more and more strangulating regulations almost everyday!

These local guys love the little bit of money they get in federal grants! They think this is a good thing! To spend your money which we do not have to spend in a very down economy!

Read below the story of the Sacketts and the struggles they face just because they want to build a house on their property! When you are done reading, go back and place your name there in place of the Sacketts with your own name!

Supreme Court Justices Blast EPA For Thwarting Couple From Building On Protected Wetlands
by AP | Jan. 9, 2012, 4:55 PM | 4,596
WASHINGTON (AP) — Several conservative members of the Supreme Court criticized the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday for heavy-handed enforcement of rules affecting homeowners after the government told an Idaho couple they can’t challenge an order declaring their future home site a “protected wetlands.”
Justice Antonin Scalia assailed the “high-handedness” of the environmental agency when dealing with private property, and Justice Samuel Alito described some of the EPA’s actions as “outrageous,” arguing that most people would say “this kind of thing can’t happen in the United States.”
The EPA said that Mike and Chantell Sackett illegally filled in most of their 0.63-acre lot with dirt and rocks in preparation for building a home. The agency said the property is a wetlands that cannot be disturbed without a permit. The Sacketts had none.
The couple, who attended the Supreme Court arguments, said they had no reason to suspect there were wetlands on their property. They paid $23,000 for their property in 2005 and decided two years later to build a three-bedroom home. Workers spent three days filling in just under a half-acre of land.
Three EPA officials showed up, said they believed the land was wetlands, asked for a permit and told the workers to stop. Six months later, the EPA sent the order that triggered the court case. The Sacketts wanted to challenge that order, but lower courts have said that they cannot.
The EPA issues nearly 3,000 administrative compliance orders a year that call on alleged violators of environmental laws to stop what they’re doing and repair the harm they’ve caused. Major business groups, homebuilders, road builders and agricultural interests all have joined the Sacketts in urging the court to make it easier to contest EPA compliance orders issued under several environmental laws.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wondered how far the Supreme Court should go in a ruling, noting that government agencies often threaten citations when people don’t comply with the law. “Health inspectors go into restaurants all the time and say: ‘Unless you fix this, I’m going to give you a citation.’ Fire inspectors, the same thing,” he said.
The Sacketts’ lawyer, Damien M. Schiff, argued that they weren’t trying to take away EPA’s power. Environmental groups say a purpose of the orders is to make it easier to negotiate a resolution without a protracted legal fight.
“Let EPA administer the act and issue compliance orders,” Schiff said. “But let’s also give homeowners a fair shake, too. Let them have their day in court to contest what the agency has done.”
Alito leveled some of the strongest criticism against the EPA, noting that the Sacketts had to wait until the EPA sued them to even challenge the idea that there were wetlands on their property.
“You think maybe there is a little drainage problem in part of your lot, so you start to build the house and then you get an order from the EPA which says: ‘You have filled in wetlands, so you can’t build your house; remove the fill, put in all kinds of plants; and now you have to let us on your premises whenever we want to,'” Alito said. “You have to turn over to us all sorts of documents, and for every day that you don’t do all this you are accumulating a potential fine of $75,000. And by the way, there is no way you can go to court to challenge our determination that this is a wetlands until such time as we choose to sue you.”
Chief Justice John Roberts said that because of the potential fines, few people are going to challenge the EPA’s determinations.
“Because of the administrative compliance order, you’re really never going to be put to the test, because most land owners aren’t going to say, ‘I’m going to risk the $37,000 a day,” Roberts said. “All EPA has to do is make whatever finding it wants, and realize that in 99 percent of the cases, it’s never going to be put to the test.”
The EPA’s normal procedure is to contact the homeowner before issuing a compliance order, Justice Department lawyer Malcolm Stewart said. A wetlands biologist has also confirmed to The Associated Press that he advised the Sacketts in May 2007 that their property was a wetlands and that there were wetlands on three sides of their land. The Sacketts say that in 2010, other wetlands consultants examined their land and concluded that the first one was wrong.
If the Sacketts “had wanted a judicial resolution of the coverage question without subjecting themselves to potential penalties, they could have filed a permit application before discharging, they could have gotten review there. All we’re saying is they can’t discharge fill, wait to see whether EPA notices, and then insist upon immediate judicial review if EPA notices and objects,” Stewart said.

PUD Standards and regulations: The proof is in the PUDding for Bradley Countians

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Corey Divel and company have suggested we implement PUD-Planned Unit Development Standards in Bradley County! I suggest we not do this! This is a very far reaching plan to further restrict your property rights and further regulate you into conformity of the big Green Monsters that enforce the many standards and regulations you will see below!

It was presented in an article recently as just a way to help us out, no big deal, just another program that Bradley County needs to bring us into the 21st Century! Hogwash! It is to make your life, your existence and way of life as restricted and regulated as can be!

Take a look at some of the construction, building codes and electrical regulations that will be placed on you! I have provided the links to a couple of other counties that have had this done to them!

We are quite successful doing our own thing in Bradley County. Why do we need this junk in our lives just to ultimately cost us more money and once again take a little more of our freedom away!

HomeConservationMulti-FamilyRequirements
Requirements for Each Measure

Attic Insulation

Existing attic insulation level must be R19 or less to be eligible. Final insulation level must be at least R38. In-progress and final inspections are required.

Wall Insulation

Existing wall insulation level must be R0 to be eligible. A minimum of R11 must be added. An in-progress inspection is required.

Floor Insulation

Existing insulation must be R11 or less to be eligible. Final insulation level is the maximum R-value the joist cavity can accommodate but not less than R19. A final inspection is required.

Windows and Sliding Glass Doors (SGD)

Existing single-pane windows with any type of frame and double-pane windows with metal frames are eligible. Existing windows and sliding glass doors (SGD) must be replaced with new units having a U-rating <= .30, SGD .31. A final inspection is required.

Electronic Thermostats

Electronic line voltage thermostats are eligible. All thermostats in unit must be replaced. Inspection may be required. Invoices or purchase receipts are required.

CFL Lighting Fixtures

ENERGY STAR rated light fixtures are eligible for the incentive. Please refer to the Energy Star website at http://www.energystar.gov for qualifying light fixtures. Receipts are required and inspections are optional.

Duct Insulation and Sealing

If interested in duct insulation and sealing, contact the PUD for eligibility requirements.

Heat Pumps

If interested in heating system upgrades, contact the PUD for eligibility requirements.

Installation and Inspection Requirements

All measures must be installed according to the most current version of Snohomish County PUD’s Installation Standards.

All material and/or equipment that is all or any part of a measure must meet or exceed all jurisdictional code, standards, minimums, maximums and requirements as stated in the appropriate PUD specifications.

On-site inspections are required for some measures (see chart). It is the responsibility of the installer to notify the PUD when the project is ready for an inspection. Once all specification requirements are met, incentives are paid to the installer except for self-installed measures.

More regulation requirements:Electrical
http://www.snopud.com/Site/Content/Documents/esr/FacilityConnectionReq.pdf

Oh yeah! Those new electrical meters with the finance plan, what?
http://www.snopud.com/Construction/newmeters.ashx?p=1594

Don’t forget those lively smart meter water meters, you know the ones that “conserve” water!
http://www.snopud.com/home/watermain.ashx?p=1125

The required power generators! Duh, aren’t those expensive?
http://www.snopud.com/home/powerout.ashx?p=1120

Really? The green jobs via the Planet power program and all the federal grants that go with it!
http://www.snopud.com/home/green/planetpwr/ppfaq.ashx?p=1299

Electric cars, electric transit systems and little green men carrying globes on their backs!
http://www.snopud.com/home/green/planetpwr/projects09.ashx?p=1300

Solar panels,(about 200,000 dollars to solar customize your home) net metering, buy your electricity from a PUD? huh?

And those electric vehicles (EVs) with those home charging stations! What will those cost? Whew!
http://www.snopud.com/home/ev.ashx?p=1843

OMG! Look at these land use regulations in another state! No fencing, no spacing between buildings, the types of vegetation in your yard! Total control of your property!
http://cityof.radcliff.org/zoning_ord/ZO22.pdf

Farmers, farming? Replacing those farms with subdivisions? Say it ain’t so!
http://www.ci.enumclaw.wa.us/vertical/Sites/%7BC3A65262-3453-4AAA-814D-612424C36C79%7D/uploads/%7BD2026F05-B3DB-49C4-B407-775153D89522%7D.PDF

Regional planners considering PUD standards for the county
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor 22 hrs ago | 206 views | 0  | 2  |  | 
Bradley County Regional Planning commissioners discussed the possibility of establishing Planned Unit Development standards in the county.

The purpose of a PUD is to provide flexible land use and design regulations and mixed uses and structures while the County Commission would retain absolute authority.

Planner Corey Divel said the only reason for establishing a PUD district would be for allowing for more flexibility, but he expressed reservation that a PUD could possibly be used to circumvent setback requirements.

The city has approved eight PUD developments, including Home Depot, Cleveland Towne Center and Spring Creek.

Planning Commission Chair Tony Young said the most likely places for a PUD in the county is along the Mouse Creek Corridor where sewer is available, which would make it subject to annexation by the city.

“Whatever is done is going to be very limited,” he said.

Based on the possibility of annexation, commissioners said they should base their standards on the city of Cleveland.

A subdivision that has been around since 2002 might finally be developed after going through plat revisions, bankruptcy and ownership changes.

Planning commissioners granted preliminary approval for Frontage Village on Elijah Way as a townhome subdivision owned by Ted Moss.

The 4.43-acre subdivision was first granted preliminary plat approval as Vista Village in April 2002. The 16-lot subdivision off Frontage Road again received preliminary plat approval in June 2004, subject to staff recommendations of a change in the road name. In February 2005, Bradley County commissioners approved changing the name from Vista Village Drive to Elijah Way. A month later, the subdivision was rezoned from Farm Agriculture Residential to R-2, low density single and multi-family residential.

The subdivision returned to the Planning Commission again in 2009 as a townhome subdivision with 28 units.

Commissioners also gave preliminary and final approval for Hidden Springs subdivision on Old Lower River Road located west of Interstate 75. The 4.77 acre subdivision, owned by Mitch Maloney, is laid out in seven lots for single family residences. The property is zoned FAR.

What is PUD? Planned Unit Development in Bradley County! Will regulate our socks off!

In Uncategorized on January 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM

On the surface and in the local paper it seemed pretty benign. Oh lets see we have county planner Corey Divel announcing that he is going to introduce this little ole program called PUD (panned Unit Development Standards), yawn? Right? Wrong!

This is the only reason I started this news blog site! I am so tired of lazy reporting or should I say one sided, complicit reporting, if that is more fitting! You can just about count on every person in town that wants report something, yet leave the public uninformed intentionally, you can bet it will come from our local press!

I was glancing over the local paper yesterday and noticed the PUD story! At first I glance I lost interest pretty quickly! It was short, precise and perhaps intentional without alot of details! That should gave been my first clue to cue in but I didn’t! I put the paper away thinking I was done with it. The thought of PUD kept racing through my head! What is PUD? Sounds boring and non harmful!

Well, I went to my trusty search engine and put in PUD! Just PUD! I glanced over the PUD-Peptic Ulcer Disease websites and within one minute I was on to them! Like a prized coon dog picking up the scent. In this case, it was the Agenda 21, United Nations, and ICLEI scent! The dirty rascals almost slipped one by me and the uninformed public that they are supposed to be informing, well they went uninformed! After all they do accept payment for these stories, why not the complete truth?

PUD to me is more like a plethora of projects with many tentacles that as they unfold should scare you to death! Again,if we are unknowing when we accept these programs into our community and are clueless when they get here, you can count on Bradley County News to uncover them!

This beast is chocked full of every land, construction, electrical, water, zoning, annexation, eminent domain, lights, sewer, front yard, open space, agriculture, commercial, private and farm regulation you could possibly think of! ICLEI uses it to do what they want! The UN sits back and says aha another secret way to implement Agenda21!

I have started out slow with just a simple definition from Wikipedia and some of the history!

Tune in later to see what I have found! Some of these regulations and plans for Bradley County should make you shake in fear!

Search your self in the meantime! It costs nothing but a few minutes of your time! Read closely and think about the impact of some of those words and then think about the affect it will have on your county and your life!

Can’t wait till I put together the rest of this story! You will be blown away!

A planned unit development (PUD), is both a type of building development as well as a regulatory process. A PUD is a designed grouping of varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision.

History

The origins of PUDs in the new American communities can be traced to British movements during the 1950’s. The developments in Britain’s new communities dealt with the locations of industrial elements and how they were publicly dictated before building ever began in order to uphold an economic base. However, in America, privately controlled communities often had to attract industry after the residential sectors had been built and occupied.

The newest forms of the planned unit development in America were found shortly after World War II in the Levittowns and Park Forest as whole communities within the limits and orbits of large metropolitan centers. The first zoning evidence of PUD was created by Prince Georges County, Maryland in 1949. It “permit[ed] the development of a large tract of land as a complete neighborhood unit, having a range of dwelling types, the necessary local shopping facilities and off-street parking areas, parks, playgrounds, school sites, and other community facilities,” (Burchell 43). Alexandria, Virginia, in 1952, as an amendment to its city code, provided for a “Community Unit Plan” with the intent to provide for planned community facilities and open space development with new residential building. One of the first modern uses of the actual term planned unit development appeared in San Francisco’s ordinance in 1962.

Definitions

Planned unit development is a means of land regulation which promotes large scale, unified land development by means of mid-range, realistic programs in chase of physically curable, social and economic deficiencies in land and cityscapes. Where appropriate, this development control promotes:

A mixture of both land uses and dwelling types with at least one of the land uses being regional in nature
The clustering of residential land uses providing public and common open space
Increased administrative discretion to a local professional planning staff while setting aside present land use regulations and rigid plat approval processes
The enhancement of the bargaining process between the developer and government municipalities which in turn strengthens the municipality’s site plan review and control over development for potentially increased profits due to land efficiency, multiple land uses, and increased residential densities.
Frequently, PUDs take on a variety of forms ranging from small clusters of houses combined with open spaces to new and developing towns with thousands of residents and various land uses. However, the definition of a PUD does not take into consideration these types of developments unless they fit into a category of size ranging from 100 to 200 acres (40 to 81 ha). In a PUD the property owner owns the land the dwelling sits on. So they say!

Mixtures of land uses

In PUDs, the zoning of districts becomes very different from what was standard under the Standard Zoning Enabling Act. Historically, the districts were very narrow in type and large in area. Within PUDs, zoning becomes much more integrated with multiple land uses and districts being placed on adjacent land parcels.

Residential properties in PUDs are by far the most numerous and occupy the largest land areas. PUDs tend to incorporate single-family residential uses within close proximity to two-family units and multiple-family dwellings to form a larger diversified neighborhood concept. Schools, churches, retirement homes, hospitals, and recreation facilities begin to find their way into residential districts. Residential districts also tend to use the best land in the community and the most favorable sites are protected from commercial and industrial uses.

Grouping shopping districts by service area is a first step in returning to the neighborhood concept. Land is reserved for regional, community, and local shopping clusters with some specific restrictions based on market experience and on what types of business intend to locate at each development. Local shopping districts with sufficient provisions for off-street parking, height restrictions, and traffic control are not frequently found surrounded by residential areas.

Industrial standards now help to reduce the journey for employees to work. Nowadays, there tends to be environmental and performance regulations that cut back on the amount of nuisance to surrounding areas adjacent to industrial districts. With sufficient setbacks, off-street parking, and height regulations, industrial locations adjacent to residential zones are usually looked to as an overall community goal. PUDs do not normally have large numbers of industrial districts, but if so, they tend to be geared more towards light industry.

A planned residential unit development (PRUD) (sometimes planned unit residential development (PURD)) is a variant form of PUD where common areas are owned by the individual homeowners and not a home owners association or other entity. A PRUD is considered the same as a PUD for planning commission purposes and allows for flexibility in zoning and civic planning.

Design principles

Houses and placement of houses

Houses in PUDs often include access to a large shared open space surrounding the house as well as a smaller private yard. These large protected open spaces are created by the layout of the buildings and are intended for use by all residents of the developments. Different housing types (single-family, two-family, multiple-family) are often mixed rather than separated as is done in conventional development

Streets

Street patterns are one of the most important elements in establishing the neighborhood character of a residential community. Most non-PUD development focuses on obtaining maximum frontage for lot sizes and maximum flow of traffic on all streets. However, in order to dispel the monotony of the typical grid plan street pattern, PUDs often employ a hierarchy of street types based on usage. Local streets serve only residences and have a low traffic volume, while collector streets connect local streets to arterials, which are the major routes of travel throughout a PUD.

Sidewalks and pedestrian ways

Sidewalks and pedestrian ways of PUDs supplement and complement street systems in establishing the character of the neighborhood. Sidewalks are located on at least one side of every street to enable the walkability of the developments. Circulation systems are provided to link residential groupings, open space areas, schools, and local shopping areas.

Combining design features

It is in the ability to design each of these components simultaneously that makes PUDs unique and effective. Each of the elements work together to enhance the whole. This a major advantage over traditional zoning practices that force lots to be planned in accordance with broad rules that may allow for some incompatibility.

References:

Burchell, Robert. Planned Unit Development: New Communities American Style. New Jersey: MacCrellish & Quigley, 1972.
New York City Planning Commission. Planned Unit Development. New York: Planning Department, 1968.

Contributing source: Wikipedia

Lurking outside an auction: Land Trust Gets 350 Acres At Johnson’s Crook

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2012 at 3:56 PM

A huge land grab was witnessed today in Chattanooga today! A land trust company just happened to be at a local foreclosure auction and bought up all this land to save the environment! This is Agenda 21 plan perfected! If you think it is benign, you are sadly mistaken! Private property is this plans greatest enemy in the hands of the private citizen! The wild lands project and smart growth cannot go forward unless they control the land! You have probably heard about it! It’s when they herd all of the population within certain “urban growth areas” to prevent “sprawl” as they call it in rural areas!

Land Trust Gets 350 Acres At Johnson’s Crook
posted January 3, 2012

Land trust interests purchased about 350 acres of scenic Johnson’s Crook on the side of Lookout Mountain in Dade County, Ga., at a foreclosure auction Tuesday.

Bobby Davenport said he was representing both the Lula Lake Land Trust and the Georgia Land Trust in making the acquisitions.

He obtained the steep portion of the crook by paying the amount of the back taxes – $146,000.

The owners will have a year to redeem the property, but would have to pay a 20 percent penalty, plus interest.

The foreclosure involved the Southern Group luxury home development, which had sought to launch a resort community at the base of the crook but had financial woes.

Mr. Davenport said the land trust acquisition “is important for Dade County’s water supply. Johnson’s Crook is a great big bowl receiving water that supplies Lookout Creek, Hurricane Creek and wells.”

He said the move “was important to protect the steep slopes and the caves.”

Officials of the Cave Conservancy also made several purchases.

Mr. Davenport said of the auction, “I didn’t know whether or not it was going to happen, but when it did I wound up with more land than I set out for.”

Johnson’s Crook earlier was held by Dr. Joe Johnson of Lookout Mountain. It was sold at auction by his heirs after his death.

The crook was named for an earlier Johnson.

Contributing source: Chattanoogan.com

%d bloggers like this: