County Planner speaks to Rotary

Posted By Josh Nelson

Our beloved Sumner County continues to absolutely boom in both residential and business growth over the past several years.

Here’s a map of Sumner County from

The City of Gallatin has it’s own approach to handling planning for new homes and apartment complexes, but what about what lies outside of city limits?

In introducing Josh, Program Director Bill Kemp said, “The cities are saturated and a lot of the growth is happening in the county outside of city limits.”

So. What are the differences between what the city expects and accepts and what the county does? How do they work together — if at all. Oh, and the stormwater issue?

Josh Suddath, the county Director of Planning and Stormwater, addressed these issues and more during his presentation to our club on Thursday.

He talked about those matters and how he handles such different situations as a farmer who comes in to his office off a tractor in the northern part of the county who is worried about runoff water from a neighboring farm and then dealing with developers around city limits who want to put in hundreds of houses just outside of city limits.

“I never know what kind of call or visit I’m going to get,” Suddath said.

Here is a “Did You Know?” which Suddarth shared with us: “The Sumner Regional Planning Commission has never approved a multi-family development.” No apartments or senior living centers.

Mr. Suddarth also expressed some dismay about the fact the county does not have an engineer.

“We’re [becoming suburban]…and we have to look at the way we manage things, ” Suddarth said. “One of the issues when I came on board here [about a year-and-a-half ago] which really struck me was that Sumner County is one of the top 20 counties in the state in terms of population, but we don’t have an engineer on board.

“So, there’s not one professional engineer in place who works for the county who can go toe-to-toe to developers and say, ‘This is how your doing it wrong.”

Suddath said the county commission has approved funds for an engineer and support staff.

It was a very informational presentation about how the county is attempting to handle the growth we are experiencing.

You can hear Mr. Suddarth’s full remarks at the link below.

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