Rocky Top’s Christmas parade will take place this year on Dec. 4 as planned, City Manager Michael Foster announced during the October city council meeting last Thursday night (Oct. 15).
There had been some doubt about the plans for the parade, as many similar events have been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including most area Independence Day celebrations.
The Yule parade is sponsored by the city in partnership with the Rocky Top Chamber of Commerce, Foster told the council as he gave his monthly city manager’s report.
“I think that’s a good thing for everybody,” Foster said of the plans to move forward with the parade.
In other business, the council passed on second and final reading an ordinance to establish the Office of Administrative Hearing Officer in the city to help enforce city building codes and zoning ordinances.
The council passed on first reading an ordinance that would amend Title 13 of the city’s zoning code to restrict where homeless shelters could be established within the city limits.
The measure would prohibit such facilities from the downtown area, which the city wants to preserve for businesses, Foster said.
Foster said earlier that the city knows of no one who has any plans to create a homeless shelter in the city, but wanted to make sure such facilities would be limited to specific areas. Residential R-1 and R-2 zones will be excluded along with the downtown area.
A public hearing will be held at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 19 at City Hall on the proposed zoning measure, before the council considers it on second reading at the regular council meeting following the hearing.
The council also approved an amended certificate of compliance for Rocky Top Wine and Liquor, as the business is adding another partner.
Owners of package stores must meet certain statutory requirements and background checks to be eligible, under state law and local ordinances.
Council members also moved to approve the sale of the so-called A1A property — consisting of two parcels along U.S. 441 — to buyers who intend to develop the land as a campground. The city owns both pieces of property, but had taken bids and agreed earlier to sell the property to the high bidder.
Thursday’s move was technically to declare the property as “surplus” so it could legally be sold by the city to the private buyers.