From the left:  Grant Green, senior planner; Brian Williamson, sign enforcement; Sydny Simpson, planner; Tim Nicholson, zoning enforcement officer; Keith Free, planning director; Lauren Beery, planning assistant; Ken Welch, sign enforcement; Caitlin Shinn, administrative secretary; Timothy Whitten, assistant planning director.

On Sep. 25, mayors from across middle Tennessee met at the Bluegrass Country Club to honor local mid-state governments for excellence in public service at the annual awards ceremony of the Greater Regional Council (GNRC or Regional Council). 

The City of Hendersonville’s Planning Department was recognized for excellence in land use initiative and received a Local Government Award for its newest project, “Drones for Planning.”

This award recognizes the department’s innovative approach to collecting aerial imagery. Planning staff member Ken Welch, who is a licensed drone pilot, uses his drone to capture images and video that have proven helpful in the planning process. The footage helps staff better understand current conditions and the potential impact of proposed development from a birds-eye perspective, particularly in areas that are not easily accessible. The footage has been used in both Planning Commission and Board of Mayor and Aldermen meetings and can be viewed by residents on the city’s local cable channel.

The Planning Department was also recently notified by the Tennessee American Planning Association (TAPA) of its nomination for an Outstanding Project, Large Jurisdiction (Over 50,000) Award, also for the “Drones for Planning” initiative. 

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