Membership of Planning Commission

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Except for planning regions consisting of a single county, the Department of Economic and Community Development determines the number of members (not fewer than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15)) on any regional planning commission. T.C.A. § 13-3-101. Before a member can be designated by the department, he or she must first be nominated in writing by the county mayor or the chief elected officer of a municipality within the planning region.  The nominations for newly created or vacant positions on the commission must be received by the department within 30 days after the position becomes available.  Members of planning commissions in single county planning regions are chosen by the county mayor, subject to the approval of the county legislative body.  Members of local legislative bodies may serve; however, members from county and municipal legislative bodies must be fewer in number than a majority of the commission.  And, with a few exceptions, public employees and officeholders must also make up less than a majority. T.C.A. § 13-3-101.

Each regional planning commission is to elect a chair from among its appointed members. T.C.A. § 13-3-103.  The legislative body of a county or municipality in which the commission operates may establish compensation for regional planning commission or zoning board members. T.C.A. § 13-3-101.  The statutes do not specify times or places for planning commission meetings, but they do address terms of office as well as procedures for removal and vacancies.  T.C.A. § 13-3-101.

In the absence of any provision in a metropolitan or county charter (or private act or interlocal agreement), the county mayor, county executive or metropolitan mayor or executive shall, in accordance with T.C.A. § 5-6-106, have the authority to appoint a person meeting certain qualifications as planning director.  The planning director shall have the power and authority to hire and fix the compensation, within the funds appropriated by the legislative body for this purpose, of such other employees and staff as he or she may deem necessary for the work of the planning commission. T.C.A. § 13-3-103.