Please note: This article is Part Two of a Development Article series, highlighting new changes in the development process in Kingsport.
As more people want to call Kingsport home, more housing and development has been in the works to meet that need. Kingsport has already seen promising results from recent development changes made to streamline the development process.
Heading up the new development process is Development Coordinator Elizabeth Rowe. After joining the city in June, Rowe has been very involved in getting the new development processes up and running and serves as the main point of contact for anything related to development.
Rowe’s position serves as a liaison between city staff and the developers, design professionals and property owners that have chosen Kingsport for their commercial businesses or residential developments. All plans for new or re-development within the city (with the exception of new or remodeled single family homes on existing lots) come to Rowe, allowing her to shepherd the project through the approval process. This could be as simple as the developer submitting plans and getting them approved in house, or may involve review and approval from one or more of the city’s boards and commissions.
“Since I came on board, we have made some significant changes in the development process,” said Rowe. “Our goal is to have the most streamlined and efficient process possible while also protecting the city and ensuring the quality of developments. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen multiple exciting commercial and residential development projects approved. Many parts of the world may have come to a screeching halt, but the City of Kingsport continues to grow and flourish; to have a small part in making that possible is extremely exciting for me.”
The process of having Elizabeth’s position as a one-stop shop for developments helps relieve city staff of phone calls and emails and aids them in having more time to review plans and ensure all construction is sound. This process also helps the developers, owners and design professionals as they do not have to spend extra time corresponding with multiple city departments. Rowe fields all questions and comments back and forth which helps ensure that all parties are on the same page.
Kingsport’s goal with this new position is to provide our city with the best possible processes for housing development. When Chris McCartt became City Manager, one of his first goals was to hire a Development Coordinator to provide a streamlined approach to Kingsport’s development process. With Elizabeth Rowe now in place, this vision was greatly expanded upon over the last year and has led to the much improved development process we have now.