Crab Orchard is considering forming its own planning commission, delaying action on a request to join with the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission for one year.

"Hopefully, we can form our own planning commission and keep it right here in the city," said Mayor Emmett Sherrill.

Cumberland County Mayor Brock Hill said he had met with Crab Orchard representatives earlier this week to discuss planning regulations for the city.

"It's one of the requirements for the Three-Star Program, and Crab Orchard does not have a planning commission," Hill told the Chronicle. "We wanted to give them their options. And, we are happy to work with Crab Orchard and would not charge them for that."

Those options included creating its own planning commission, working with the state's local planning assistance office, opt out of the Three-Star Program or let the county's regional planning commission act as the Crab Orchard planning commission.

The Three-Star Program is designed to help communities take advantage of economic development opportunities. Goals include preserving existing employment, creating new job opportunities, increase family incomes, improve quality of life and create a strong leadership base. Communities are evaluated on a variety of criteria, including planning processes.

The city opted to exempt itself from the regional planning commission for a period of one year while it researches subdivision regulations and works with the state planning assistance office for the Upper Cumberland region.

Crab Orchard did have a planning commission in the past, but it was dissolved about three years ago, Mayor Sherrill said.

Joe Sherrill, area resident, pointed to concerns in the area over mining and interest in placing landfills.

"It seems Crab Orchard would benefit from a planning commission," Joe Sherrill said. "Once you establish your standards, you can work toward those goals. But until you establish those standards, all we can do is complain."

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