It’s a big project, but its time has come.

“It’s been 20 years since we’ve updated our zoning in the county,” said Jason Mackelprang, building and zoning official for Sevier County. 

Zoning laws are used to control how a community grows. The goal is to protect property rights, and to keep developments in areas where they make sense — such as not allowing a heavy industrial development in a residential neighborhood

“The zoning should be a living document,” Mackelprang said. “We’re dealing with stuff now we never thought we’d see.”

One example is 20 years ago, no one in the county would have suspected that a large hemp farm would be allowed to operate. Now, hemp farms are legal and they are a zoning reality. 

“We are looking for all the help we can get,” Mackelprang said. He said people living in the county are aware of what’s around them, and likely have good ideas on how zoning should be updated.

For more information about the zoning plan update, or to add comments to it, log onto

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