Powell Airport Kroger development faces rezoning delay

Powell Airport Kroger development faces rezoning delay

Posted:
Kroger wants to build on the former site of the Powell Airport. Kroger wants to build on the former site of the Powell Airport.
Residents worry flooding from nearby Beaver Creek could be exacerbated by the development. Residents worry flooding from nearby Beaver Creek could be exacerbated by the development.
"My land floods frequently and washes away, just as the people on Overton Lane," said Dr. Bob Collier, a nearby resident. "My land floods frequently and washes away, just as the people on Overton Lane," said Dr. Bob Collier, a nearby resident.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Concerns from a group of people living near the old Powell Airport site have delayed a rezoning request for the development of a proposed Kroger supermarket.  

The Metropolitan planning Commission recently approved a rezoning request to develop the Emory Road site at the airport for a shopping center. 

In order for the plan to be approved, city council needs to approve a rezoning request. Council delayed the vote because of concerns from residents.

Many living nearby are concerned about the environmental impact to develop the site.

Kroger wants to build a supermarket along with a fuel center and some adjacent shops on 18.7 acres of airport land.

"The property has been vacant for decades as far as I know. Getting a development, grocery store, any property on the tax rolls would be good," said Mark Campen, a Knoxville City Council member.

Kroger is seeking PC-1 or planned commercial zoning. Many living nearby are concerned about the environmental impact to develop the site.

The property sits next to Beaver Creek and many are concerned that the houses on Overton Lane, next to the development, could be more susceptible to flooding.   

"My land floods frequently and washes away, just as the people on Overton Lane," said Dr. Bob Collier, a nearby resident. 

Collier owns land nearby Beaver Creek; he's also a part of the creek's watershed association.

Collier said he isn't against Kroger coming to his neighborhood, but worries developing the site could intensify the effects of flooding.

"As the airport gets filled in, all that millions of gallons of water will get narrowed into a deeper channel," Collier said.  

Kroger has proposed to reclaim part of the flood plain by filling it with dirt and raising the level by 13 feet.

Kroger officials plan to meet with neighbors Monday to discuss the design plan before the city council vote.

The meeting will be facilitated by Knoxville City Council member Mark Campen and Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith.

"I want to meet with the residents and make sure they feel good. I don't feel like it's not in my backyard issue. I think they want to make sure their property isn't unjustly impacted," said Campen.  

The rezoning request is on the agenda for Tuesday's city council meeting.  

If approved, the planning commission would have to approve a site plan. Additionally, Kroger would need to pay for storm water and traffic studies of the site.

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