Local developer Jon Goodwin came to the meeting to talk about Town Haven Estates, the final plat to which was up for final approval by the planning commission. Although not very different from the preliminary plat that was approved at a previous meeting, Goodwin said he added a couple of more housing units.
Goodwin also said that Frank Williams, the city and county engineer for the planning commission had been down to the development site and said that everything “looked great” on the retention basin and on the development as a whole.
However, Planning Commission Chairman Bob Brame noted that while it was in the preliminary plat, or development plan, the final plat didn’t show that it had been approved by Trigg County’s 9-1-1 dispatch.
When a development is registered with the dispatch and other services or utilities, when they sign off on that development, they are saying that they can accommodate that development, Brame said.
Goodwin said he hadn’t done that on the final plat because it wasn’t on the checklist available on the planning commission’s web site. “We went through absolutely every item right down the list,” said Goodwin.
Brame, Planning Commissioner Lucas Chestnut and others on the planning commission said that if there was an error on their end that it will be fixed as soon as possible. Goodwin then asked how that would affect the redivision of lots that took place at a previous meeting.
“Lucas mentioned that there’s going to be new addresses, so now you have three houses instead of two, did you not know that … two months ago?” Goodwin said. “Is that something you looked back at?”
“What do you want?” asked Chestnut. “We’ve obviously had an error, we’re openly admitting that, and we want to get it fixed.”
Goodwin replied that he is “simply asking a question,” and he asked if the planning commission was “competent enough” to have caught the error before.
Brame said that since the redivision was only a variance on an existing plot, so he didn’t think it would be an issue.
During the comments portion of the meeting, Goodwin said he was “offended” by Chestnut’s comments. Chestnut apologized but said he thought at the time that Goodwin sounded “condescending.”
Brame said the next day that Goodwin had it registered with the 9-1-1 dispatch office that morning, and he also said that day that while he hadn’t checked the web site yet, it was absent from the written checklist, and that correcting the omission should be “an easy fix.”
The planning commission also approved an amendment that stated that if an engineer works for the planning commission, they cannot also represent at the same time someone who is coming to the planning commission to have their development approved.
The commission also agreed to look into having a secondary engineer in case the planning commission’s engineer is representing a private party looking to have a development approved.
This discussion came about because Frank Williams was also helping Goodwin with his Town Haven Estates development.
Brame said that although “nothing happened inappropriately” with the Town Haven Estates case, which he said came under higher-than-usual scrutiny, there could be the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“You can’t be the prosecutor and the defense attorney,” said Chestnut.
Although Planning Commissioner Mike Heffington asked if the planning commission has the power to regulate such a thing, the vote to make sure the same engineer isn’t working for both parties was unanimous.