I have a tremendous amount of respect for Law Director Joe Jarret. I believe that Law Director Elect Bud Armstong has some big boots to fill. Armstrong is capable and I believe he will be as open and transparent.
In response to this blog post from yeserday. Mr. Jarret responded. Below, is his response.
Brian, regarding your most recent blog entry, as you are aware, we have been involved in the Waggoner case (regarding Midway Road property) that was argued yesterday morning before Chancellor Fansler. Although I did not personally argue the case on behalf of Knox County (I assigned this case to deputy law director Daniel Sanders) I have been involved in the matter from its inception. The arguments put forward yesterday by Mr. Sanders were consistent with my instructions, and more importantly the County Commission’s position on this matter
If you recall, the Commission voted to rezone the Midway Road property in 2006. Several area residents timely filed a lawsuit to challenge that action. Those citizens argue that the rezoning was not consistent with the general plan as required by the Zoning Ordinance. In a 2008 order, the Chancellor agreed with the Plaintiff on this point. As a result of the suit, the zoning action was effectively stayed pending the conclusion of all issues in the litigation. As recently as 2011, the Commission expressed its desire that the land use plan for Midway Road return to its pre-2006 status. Accordingly, the Commission approved an East County Sector Plan identical to the plan in existence prior to 2006. This plan does not include business park or industrial uses at Midway Road. In order to achieve the Commission’s recently expressed intent, it is necessary for the plaintiff to win the present litigation. Consequently, it is by coincidence that the Commission’s goals are congruent or consistent with the Plaintiff’s goals. At no time did we act contrary to the Commission’s goals, nor align the County with either party. Further, under recently enacted state law, the Commission is empowered to amend its sector plan at will.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter.
All the best,