Joyce Ealy_County Commission

Mayor Bill Ketron on Thursday swears in Joyce Ealy as interim commissioner for District 19. RCTV

The vacant District 19 Rutherford County Commission seat was filled last Thursday when the commission appointed Joyce Ealy to the seat.

Commissioner Steve Ervin died of a heart attack on April 9. 

Ealy and Stacy Nunnally were the only applicants for the position, said Pettus Read, chairman of the Steering, Legislative & Governmental Committee.

Ealy, who previously served as a commissioner, was sworn in Thursday. She will serve until the Aug. 6 election, when the seat will be filled.

Ervin also served as the Probation and Recovery Courts director. The commission split that job into two components and appointed directors.

Patricia Breeding was confirmed as director of Recovery Courts, while Alissa Phillips was confirmed as Probation director.

Mayor Bill Ketron said the Probation Office will eventually move from West Main Street to the old Judicial Building on the downtown square. Construction on the building may start this week.

Joe Whitefield was appointed to the Central Tennessee Solid Waste Planning Board, and Faye Elam was appointed to the Community Care Board of Directors.


Zoning matters

In other business, the commission approved a Planned Unit Development zone for a winery and event center at 3466 Manchester Pike. Ken Wilson is the applicant.

Planning Director Doug Demosi said the site is 22 acres. Wilson and his wife plan to produce wine and cider and have outdoor seating with live music. The project will be developed in phases due to economic conditions, with Phase One having wine tasting.

Clyde Rountree of Huddleston-Steele Engineering served as their representative. Ken Wilson said that the winery will have amenities like a wine club.

The commission approved Commercial Services zoning for a sign and lighting business that has been operating at 184 Sharp Springs Rd. Demosi said the need for the zoning came about after county officials addressed the company’s outdoor storage at an adjacent piece of land. The sign company had started as a home-based business and has grown to have 11 employees, including owner Amy Dearmon, but never had received zoning approval, Demosi said. The adjacent lot has been cleaned up, he said.

Dearmon said she and her husband want to grow the business. They rented space to move items.

Also, the commission approved a PUD zone for a 74-lot subdivision at 4002 E. Compton Road. The site was approved for 58 homes in a Medium Density zone in 2006. Richard Garvin is the applicant. Rob Molchan of SEC Inc. engineering represented him.

Amenities include a playground and walking trails, Molchan said. There will be an on-site STEP sewer system.

A man identifying himself as Richard Fleener opposed the rezoning. He said he lives near the project on Sharpsville Road.

“I believe this project is not compatible with our neighborhood,” he said, calling his neighborhood rural.

Compton and Sharpsville have heavy traffic and has frequent traffic accidents, he said, and he questioned the safety of school buses loading children in the new subdivision.

Fleener said the county’s PUD ordinance requires the sites to be compatible with the surrounding area.

Commissioner Robert Peay Jr. said the development is in his district. He said he favors dense projects because they preserve some open space. He made a motion to approve. The commission approved the development.

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