Many oppose large apartment complex at Northshore Town Center

Many oppose proposed large apartment complex at Northshore Town Center

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The Town Center is located within Knoxville city limits, but people living nearby in the county worry about how adding in more neighbors will change their community. The Town Center is located within Knoxville city limits, but people living nearby in the county worry about how adding in more neighbors will change their community.
"With that many units, you figure an extra 500 cars. It doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel safe," said Tracy Walker, a resident of the Lakeridge Subdivision. "With that many units, you figure an extra 500 cars. It doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel safe," said Tracy Walker, a resident of the Lakeridge Subdivision.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -  Some residents near the Northshore Town Center say they're opposed to a re-zoning request, paving the way for a high density apartment complex.

The site was initially approved for town homes, but that was before the economic downturn.

The developers of the complex have requested a zoning change to High Density Residential from the current approved zoned area known as "Town Center" (TC-1). 

Knoxville City Council will take up the request next month, if approved -- it will allow 90 more units than planned.

The Town Center is located within Knoxville city limits, but people living nearby in the county worry about how adding in more neighbors will change their community. 

Frank Slagle has lived in the Lakeridge Subdivision in Southwest Knox County for 20 years. His backyard butts up with the proposed high density apartment complex in the town center.

"We were sold on the idea that this would be a community where we could walk from restaurants to stores and if you put high density right here next to schools, you're going to destroy the walkability," said Slagle.

The proposed 250 unit apartment would be located between North Shore Elementary, Admiral Wine & Spirits, and beside a nearby neighborhood.  

A collection of 12 home owners associations making up around 600 citizens have signed a petition against a re-zoning request made by the developers, the Flournoy Development Company.  

Developers say allowing high density residential uses will bring more residents into the area to support surrounding town center development.  

Opponents worry it will create traffic problems, decrease nearby property values and unravel the plan for the town center. 

"With that many units, you figure an extra 500 cars. It doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel safe," said Tracy Walker, a resident of the Lakeridge Subdivision.  

Arthur Seymour, the attorney representing Flournoy Development Co. -- says the new apartments are high-end, rents will average more than $1,000/month.  

Critics have said apartments would decrease property values of single family homes nearby, Seymour disagrees.  

"If done properly, they do not, they make the neighborhood more attractive," said Seymour.  

Nearby businesses have mixed feelings.

A liquor store -- Admiral Wine & Spirits Support has supported the concept of a new high density apartment.  

Jim Cornett, the owner of Cazzy's Corner Grill seems indifferent, but says more residents would certainly help business.

"Whether it comes or doesn't come, we support either way, I think it's a win-win still for us," said Cornett.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission has said the plans are appropriate for the town center, but asks developers to re-submit a design plan that better conforms to the rest of the area. 

Seymour says the developer will submit the plans by next Wednesday.

He says the plans will include parking areas that are less visible and modifications to complex's landscaping.  

City Council will vote on re-zoning September 3.  

A group of neighborhood associations set up a meeting Saturday with city council members and Knox county commissioners to tour the proposed site.

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