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County shoots down Flat Rock ETJ request

FLAT ROCK — Henderson County officials have delivered a response to a request by the Village of Flat Rock to extend zoning authority beyond the village boundaries: no way.

The Village Council during its June meeting had decided to seek extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction for eight parcels covering several hundred acres on the village boundaries in the new Green River-Tuxedo-Zirconia planning area.
The communities to the south are just now embarking on a community planning effort, and Flat Rock leaders wanted to make sure that land-use on the border remain compatible with village zoning.
The parcels the village wanted to add were on Mine Gap Road north of Kingwood and east of Claremont, a horse farm west of Greenville Highway and south of the town limits, a 90-acre parcel directly west of the horse farm, 39 homes and 41 vacant lots in Kenmure's phase 5 and phase 6, and four large parcels between Kenmure and Lake Falls Road.
"Pinnacle Mountain Road is a natural boundary," Mayor Bob Staton explained at the time. "We would like to have everything north of Pinnacle Mountain Road in our jurisdiction." The village was seeking zoning authority, not annexation.
"Before we did any of that I wrote to (county commission chairman) Tommy Thompson to see if there was any hope of getting extraterritorial jurisdiction," he said, "because the policy of the county now is not to extend ETJs in any area of the county that's zoned, and of course now the whole county is zoned."
In other words: no ETJ — for Flat Rock or any other town.
Green River residents had become suspicious when the story broke, and some got in touch with county commissioners to oppose the move. Two residents, Larry Rostetter and Theron Maybin, spoke against the Flat Rock request during last week's Board of Commissioners meeting.
Thompson had referred Staton's request to the planning director and the county attorney, and they had written a memo to county commissioners. The information was distributed to the commissioners, Thompson said, and the signals came back negative. The commissioners never took up the request in a public meeting.
"There's no interest at all in extending an ETJ to Flat Rock," Staton said. "They're not interested in doing it so we're going to drop it."
Staton said as the story made the rounds, the proposed magnitude of the zoning authority became exaggerated to 1 mile, far greater than the village had sought.
"A lot of folks down in Green River thought, oh my goodness, we're not going to be able to have our cows anymore," he said.