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Doublewide owner sues city; Mountain City files countersuit

In response to a decision made by the Mountain City Planning Commission, Randy Glenn has filed a lawsuit against Mountain City regarding the placement of his doublewide. While this case began as an alleged violation of a city zoning ordinance, Mountain City has now filed a counter suit regarding compliance of Tennessee state codes.
In November of 2010 approximately 15 people living in the Ivy and Spruce Street neighborhood of Mountain City came before the Mountain City Planning Commission to address their concerns over the placement of a doublewide belonging to Glenn in their neighborhood. The group raised concerns that while the unit did not meet city zoning ordinances and setback requirements, it also did not have the same general appearance of other homes in the community. According to state law, doublewides cannot be discriminated against by local zoning ordinances but they must be similar in appearance to other nearby homes.
According to Glenn, Chris Johnson, the building inspector at the time, issued him a building permit. The doublewide was placed 26 feet off Ivy Street and 70 feet off Spruce Street. He contended that the front of the unit faces Spruce Street based on the driveway access to the property. His appeal to the Planning Commission was based on the front of the house being well within the footage stipulation. Lewis Spearman, the spokesperson for the Ivy Street citizens, argued that regardless of the location of the front of the house, the street setback requirement was 30 feet from Ivy Street. Glenn added he had a copy of the building application, the approved building permit and a copy of the survey and was in compliance. The Planning Commission voted to enforce all setback requirements within the city limits with regard to new houses and the information would be turned over to then City Attorney George Wright.
In the April, 2011 City Council meeting, representatives of the Ivy Street neighborhood addressed the council members with regards to their continuing concerns over the placement of the doublewide. The arguments included that any home that faces the unit would experience a 15 percent decrease in property value. According to another citizen, the board of zoning appeals held a meeting in March and determined the doublewide was an illegal installation, resulting in the decision that Glenn must remove the doublewide. After consultation with Wright, a motion was made to enforce this decision.
Attorney George Wright represents Mountain City in this lawsuit. The next court date on this matter has been scheduled for December 13, 2011. Attempts to reach Glenn at this time regarding the court case have been unsuccessful.