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This letter posted below this note went from Bryan Spears to a core group a few days ago. Already many, many have responded, very generously. We thank you!
Our community is rightfully alarmed about runaway Knox County development – with virtually no protections in place. Month after month those who should be representing and protecting the citizens are failing to do so, cleverly subverting the public system. Not every commissioner, but enough, are actually systematically stripping zoning protections and waving in out- of- state corporations to harvest Knox County assets. Those groups are stripping our mountain and ridgetops, filling our neighborhoods and streams with floodwaters and silt, overwhelming our schools, roads and fire and police protection with a remarkable disregard for consequences. Time is very short now and immediate action is needed. Please see Bryan’s letter below. Diane
Tooles area neighbors,
Over the last couple of weeks most of you have received an official mailer from NCA. Indeed several of you have responded positively to the mailer already, and we thank you for that. With that I do have a bit of unfortunate news to share. As of last week, the Bailey family has sold their farmland that would have been Post Oak development for $9 million to what appears to be another development group. Their office is in Chicago and the address they gave is apparently occupied by a development group based out of Colorado. We are doing further investigation but at this time we don’t have any additional details.
With that said, we haven’t heard of any new development plans but we’re fairly confident those are in the works. A local realtor said a few months ago that he had a potential buyer. Whether this is the same buyer or not we’re unsure. But if so, they’ve had about six months now to complete their plans and have likely already been in discussions with Knox Co planning just as the Baileys did months before they announced their development concept. If this is the case, we could be behind the political ball already once again.
Our big concern is that a lot of the concessions we got the Baileys to agree to are now off the table. They had agreed to no development of the roughly 20 acres across from Beech Grove Baptist church that runs along Tooles Bend Rd. And they had agreed to no commercial development within the Post Oak Subdivision. While the land across from the church would have to be re-zoned we’re quite certain any new developer would make that part of their overall plan. So potentially the number of houses that had gotten down to near 600 could possibly be back over 700 again or maybe even up to 1,200 given there’s roughly 400 acres of land involved that is zoned for up to 3 units per acre already.
An even bigger concern is the possibility of hundreds and hundreds of apartments. As you know, out-of-town developers are snapping up large tracks of land all over the county and throwing up hundreds of units without regard to what neighbors think or say, and Knox County planning is allowing that to happen. The large complex at Ebenezer and Westland is a prime example and there are dozens more similar concepts scattered across the county.
We hope that you’ll help us continue to protect our way of life we’ve all enjoyed in our area by giving to our legal fund. As stated in the NCA mailer we did recently receive a judgment of $30,000 from Knox Co for their apparent wrong-doing relative to Post Oak. We owe that debt of gratitude to our excellent legal team as such an accomplishment has rarely been pulled off here in Knox County. But even with the reimbursement from the county we still owe approx $45,000 in legal services already rendered. In order to move forward against any future developers we would have to shore up our account. Our ask is that if you’ve never given to NCA please do so. And if you’ve already given but are able to make another donation, we would welcome your continued support.
Make checks payable to ORNL and send to Northshore Corridor Association, PO Box 34071, Knoxville TN 37930. A pre-addressed stamped envelope was enclosed in the mailer for your convenience.
You can send checks directly to Kramer-Rayson LLP attn: Tom Hale at PO Box 629, Knoxville TN 37901. Please make those checks out to Kramer Rayson with NCA in the memo line.
Or you can make anonymous credit card donations by using the “donate” button on our website at northshorecorridorassociation.org.
on behalf of NCA Steering
Facts are critical to good decision making. To our knowledge there is no economic impact analysis and no infrastructure needs assessment being done prior to the approval of new development projects in Knox County.
Here are some facts relevant to the development requests immediately pending before our commissioners. ( Courtesy of Kim Frazier, Hardin Valley Planning Advocates) :
Hardin Valley Planning Advocates – HVPA
December 2 at 11:32 AM
Hardin Valley Schools Current Data
Hardin Valley Elementary: Capacity 900, Enrollment 1304, 5 portables, 2 more portables have been ordered
Hardin Valley Middle School: Capacity 1200, Enrollment 1081, HVES currently has the largest 4th and 5th grade classes in history
Hardin Valley Academy: Capacity 1800, Enrollment 2125
TIME SENSITIVE. Please read ASAP
Dear Northshore Corridor Neighbors,
Have you noticed the recent rapid build-up of traffic around your West Knoxville neighborhood, overcrowding in your child’s school, flooding in or around your neighborhood, or retail business being built immediately next door to a nearby neighborhood?
This is not happening accidentally. The very limited remaining Knox County land is being quickly rezoned for development and without adequate advanced planning.
Every month our Knox County Planning and County Commissioners approve more ill-conceived rezonings that permit reckless, overly dense development just as if ordinances and zoning do not exist. This is quickly destroying the viability and beauty of our desirable community. In permitting these ill-conceived rezonings commissioners are not only ignoring the need for advance planning but are also failing to enforce existing zoning. Our commissioners repeatedly override the legal zoning plans and ordinances already on our books that are designed to prevent exactly what is now being permitted. With very limited, highly controlled citizen input, our zoning and ordinances are being gutted parcel-by-parcels as neighborhoods that object to what is happening to them are repeatedly sent away in disappointment as developers and their lawyers’ prevail.
Right now, as you read this, previously protected steep slopes and ridgetops are being bulldozed. A drive down Pellissippi Parkway toward Oak Ridge provides a quick view of this bad problem. Hundreds of apartments already now sit on formerly protected ridge tops – permanently ruining beautiful, ancient mountain views, pouring runoff into our overburdened waterways and directing traffic onto already dangerous roadways.
Sadly, much of the profit produced by the overdevelopment goes to out of state corporations that have strategically partnered with local developers. We must ask – where will those partners be when the Knox County taxpayers must pay for the impacts of this profiteering?
Is it an accident that the December Knox County planning zoning agenda is jam-packed – with aggressive ill-conceived development plans?
While citizens are too busy to notice and act, development promoters and local law firms specialized in overcoming local zoning and ordinances are over-riding the legal plans on our books, to ram through their profit-seeking plans.
Thursday at 1:30 in the City County Building Commissioners will be considering several large, complex rezoning plans that affect several areas, including Hardin Valley which faces a proposal from Safe Harbor, the developer NCA successfully sued. Please make plans to attend Thursday if possible, to watch on CCTV and/or contact your commissioner to ask for a slow down in approvals that are outrunning planning.
We will follow this post with additional information, facts and how- to. Please watch for it.
Northshore Corridor Neighbors Please take note:
Kevin Murphy, President of the Knox County Planning Alliance has asked us to make sure you are aware of the following – the preliminary Knox County Planning agenda for December.
It contains a number of aggressive planning proposals requiring major changes to zoning and impacting county infrastructure needs – particularly to already overburdened schools and roads.
A Very Active December Planning Meeting
While you may desire to focus on holiday activities and family in the coming weeks, there are a LOT of applications on the Planning Commission December 9th agenda. Two very large developments – one in Hardin Valley (item #16 – Couch Mill Rd) and one in South Knox County (#8 – Dry Hollow). Hardin Valley is particularly active this month with a number of concept plans.
Agenda Review Meeting – Tues, Dec 7th, 11:30AM, Small Assembly Room. Not broadcast.
Submit comments – due no later than 3PM Wed, Dec 8th
View Submitted Comments
Request to speak – due 9AM Dec 9th
Map of Active Cases
Below are the ones KCPA believes will merit discussion or raise significant interest with surrounding neighbors and we are keeping our eye on:
Rezonings – approx 159 acres
# 7 – Vinit Sharma 11-E-21-RZ, 2106 Schaeffer Rd, 4 acres, AG & TO to Planned Residential & TO up to 4 du/acre. Within the Planned Growth Area adjacent to mixed used development.
#16- Safe Harbor Residential 12-I-21-RZ, 11636 Hardin Valley Rd / Couch Mill Rd, 131.7 acres, Current zoning is Rural / AG (less than 1 du/acre) to Requested zoning is PR up to 3 du/acre, this property is within the Rural Residential Sector Plan land use designation (up to 3du/acre)/HP hillside protection, adjacent to AG (less than 1 du/acre) on all sides, 393 total residential lots: 279 single family homes and 114 townhomes. Transportation Letter
#17- Mary Gooden, 12-J-21-RZ, 2412 Smithland Lane, 1.09 acres, AG to RA, LDR
#18 – Ball Homes, 12-B-21-SP / 12-K-21-RZ, 2205 West Gallaher Ferry Road, 23.80 acres, AG to Sector Plan Rural Residential / Zoning Planned Residential at 4du/acre. Located in Rural Area
Concept Plans / Use on Review Cases: – total of 309 lots requested
#20- Amber Meadows/Ridge, 12-SA-21-C/12-A-21-UR, O Buttermilk Rd, 61 lots
#21 – Long / Donahue Subdivision, 12054 Hardin Valley Rd, 12-SB-21-C/12-E-21-UR, 47 lots on 20 acres
#22 – Vining Mill, O English Ivy, 12-SC-21-C/12-F-21-UR, 13 lots on 4.54 acres
#23 – Briggs Station, 1928 Marietta Church, 12-SD-21-C/12-G-21-UR, 188 lots on 94 acres
#24 – Prosperity Crossing, 13115 & O El Camino Lane, Steve Maddox, 12-SE-21-C, Site Plan, new road through development that will connect El Camino Ln and Everett Road
#26 – Johnson Rd and Schaad Rd just east of Amherst Elementery – Tommy Hunt – Calloway Hunt Real Estate – 12-D-21-UR – use on review request for an E-Z- Stop Food Mart with fuel pumps – Transportation Analysis
#8 – 11-B-21-SP / 11-F-21-RZ 8802 Sevierville Pike and Dry Hollow Road, Thunder Mountain Properties, Sector Plan Ag to LDR and Rezoning from AG/CA/CB to Planned Residential up to 3 du/ac. 158.64 acres for a total of approximately 475 lots. Located in the Rural . Transportation Impact Letter estimates 4,231 daily trips for this development and does not analyze the service or impact of the Simpson Rd / Chapman Highway intersection.
#12 12-E-21-RZ 2309 Maryville Pike, Bruce Duncan, Rezone from RB to Transition, County 9th District. 1.18 acres. Transition is not a frequently used zone and is not used in the area.
#13 12-F-21-RZ 3911 Gordon Smith Rd off Norris Freeway, Jason McMahan, County 7th. Rezone from Ag to PR 1-5 du/ac surrounded by Ag. Sector Plan LDR, with some subdivisions in the 1 mil radius.
#19 11-SC-21-C – Ashton Point Subdivision Concept Plan 225 Vanosdale Rd, 7 lots on 2.33 acres, West Hills Homeowners Association engaged in Public Comments on item.
From Bryan Spears, NCA Founder:
When NCA formed about 4 years ago it was clear to us who started the grassroots movement, we were facing a steep learning curve. We looked for others who had tackled similar challenges. Enter Kim Frazier, founder of one of the most successful community awareness groups ever to be established in Knoxville. Kim and her team members had already spent countless hours researching zoning and getting to know local government officials – in order to help craft smart plans for the explosive growth going in Hardin Valley.
Over the years Kim has been instrumental in helping many other organizations like NCA get up to speed quickly. Now she has decided to use that knowledge to help homeowners all across Knox County by running for County Commission At Large.
She has put together some info about her ideas and accomplishments and asked us to share it with you. Since one of the core values of NCA is to help our constituents maximize their vote through awareness and education we are sharing her information. We hope that you will take time to review it and see how her thoughts compare to yours.
The election is in May 2022. Over the next few months we hope you’ll research all of the prospective candidates, and we’ll continue to do our best to provide as much information as we can too.
From Kim Frazier:
Just a quick note to let you know that my pursuit to serve as your At Large (county wide) Commissioner Seat 11 continues and we are asking for your support!
First I care about what is important to you. Please take a moment and complete a quick survey that will provide me some insight into the visions and needs of your community.
Next – Your small financial contribution will help us broaden the message of community, connection and commitment.
As we look to officially kick off our efforts this Fall, your investment will better prepare us to the reach the people and places in every corner of our county!
I would be so grateful for your prayers and support.
Tonight is the night Knox County Commission will hear the rezoning request for the flat, grassy parcel in front of Bexhill neighborhood on Ebenezer Road.
The parcel has been used recreationally by the community for years and now the owner, Home Federal Bank wants to sell it to Holrob Properties for commercial development. Surrounding neighborhoods are opposed to the rezoning.
Commission meets at 5:00 p.m. in the Large Assembly Room of the City County Building downtown. The agenda is online at the County Commission website. Community TV also broadcasts the meetings.
We have just heard from our counsel, Tom Hale, Kramer Rayson. The TN Supreme Court has denied the request for appeal from Post Oak partners.
This is the end of litigation for now. It is possible, of course that the Bailey family will return to Knox County with a new proposal.
Sincerest thanks to Tom Hale and Brandon Morrow, the attorneys who have done the heavy lifting on this case.
Blue Grass Lake Flooding Update
Knox County Engineering officials met with neighbors of Blue Grass Lake last week in an event hosted by Nancy Barger at Hunter Valley Pavilion. The meeting was in response to numerous requests and inquiries, particularly from near neighbors and business owners directly impacted by the flooding events. After months of study there is a proposed solution, pending finding funding for the project.
Here is a summary from the meeting.
BLUEGRASS LAKE PUBLIC MEETING
PRESENTATION OF SELECTED ALTERNATIVE
JULY 6, 2021
Purpose of Project: Mitigate flooding in the vicinity of Bluegrass Lake
Water Surface Elevations:
• Target Water Surface Elevation of 819 feet during 100-yr 24-hr Storm Event (February 2019 Storm)
• TVA Flood Easement 820 feet
• South Northshore Road Elevation @ low points approximately 820 feet
• Lowest Finish Floor Elevation = 820.22 (2110 Keller Bend). Next lowest 820.85 (1937 Northshore Hills Dr.)
Proposed Project Approach:
• 20,000 GPM (gallons per minute) Stormwater Pump Station with provisions in-place to expand to 30,000 gpm.
• Enlarge existing tunnel interconnect between Bluegrass Lake and Fort Loudoun Lake from a minimum of 48” diameter to 72” diameter along the entire length.
• Lower Bluegrass Lake Level to Water Surface Elevation 803 and maintain this level from around November through April.
Estimated Project Cost: $9Million
Estimated Project Duration (Design-Bid-Build): 24 months
Major Project Constraints:
• Initiate Project Permitting with regulatory agencies (TVA, TDEC and TDOT).
• Explore/pursue funding opportunities – American Rescue Fund Act of 2021/Community Project Funding.
Dear NCA friends and supporters.
This quick note is to say thank you to those of you who responded so generously to our spring request for donations to offset NCA legal fees. THANK YOU! We would prefer to thank each of you personally but that is not always possible with limited volunteer resources. We know you understand.
Please stay tuned for an update on the BLuegrass Lake flooding/pump situation. We’ll get that out ASAP.