Kingston residents, officials at odds over new development proje

Kingston residents, officials at odds over new development project

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Neighbors say they enjoy the quiet nature of what they consider a hidden gem of a neighborhood. They say if this 47 acre piece of land is developed, it could destroy their quality of life. Neighbors say they enjoy the quiet nature of what they consider a hidden gem of a neighborhood. They say if this 47 acre piece of land is developed, it could destroy their quality of life.
"We have the lake. We have the woods and wonderful neighbors, and it's just very quiet and tranquil here and we feel like that's going to be at risk," said Leann Qualls. "We have the lake. We have the woods and wonderful neighbors, and it's just very quiet and tranquil here and we feel like that's going to be at risk," said Leann Qualls.
"This could bring a lot of commerce and retail to the city of Kingston. It's a mayor's job to support those things," said Mayor Troy Beets. "This could bring a lot of commerce and retail to the city of Kingston. It's a mayor's job to support those things," said Mayor Troy Beets.
By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - People living in a Roane County neighborhood aren't happy about the prospect of a new project coming their way. Their homes sit along the Clinch River with an undeveloped patch of land separating them from Interstate 40, but a developer has plans for that land.

Neighbors say they enjoy the quiet nature of what they consider a hidden gem of a neighborhood. They say if this 47 acre piece of land is developed, it could destroy their quality of life.

Neighbors describe the Wood Haven subdivision in Kingston as peaceful, quiet and residential, but residents like Leann Qualls believe that way of life could soon come to an end with new development plans proposed for the area.

"We have the lake. We have the woods and wonderful neighbors, and it's just very quiet and tranquil here and we feel like that's going to be at risk," said Qualls.

The area of land behind most of the homes on Dogwood Drive could soon turn into a car dealership and other retail stores. Developers are asking the city of Kingston to rezone the land from residential to commercial.

City officials believe the proposal could be a game changer for Kingston.

"This could bring a lot of commerce and retail to the city of Kingston. It's a mayor's job to support those things," said Mayor Troy Beets.

Web extra: Kingston Pointe rezoning plans [PDF]

Neighbors have a whole list of concerns including traffic, bright lights and interstate noise.

"It's going to affect the value of our property, but the change in quality of life is of much more concern to me than loss of property value that's going to result from it," said Browder Williams.

Mayor Beets believes the next planning commission meeting will address those concerns.

"I believe that the developers are going to do it in a way that those people back there are going to be as impacted less than they are by the noise from the steam plant," he said.

Residents say their biggest concern is the possibility of a big box retail store in their backyard.

"If that growth comes at the loss of property value, the loss of quality of life and even the possible safety of our residents, how is that going to be good for the community?" asked Qualls.

The issue was supposed to be on Tuesday night's planning commission agenda, but has been postponed due to more questions from neighbors.

That meeting will now be held on June 17. If planning commissioners recommend the rezoning, it will then move on to city council members for approval.
   
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