KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County commissioners made some key decisions Monday night regarding rezoning in the Hardin Valley area. Nearly three dozen people showed up at Monday’s meeting to express their concerns. Several people said that they’re not against development itself, they just want to see things slow down.
The Hardin Valley Planning Advocates group reports that a new home is built there every 32 hours and now with new rezoning requests approved, it paves the way for more.
“We’re asking them to take a pause. Take 60 days and come back to the community with a plan to address their concerns and needs because that’s something we’re not getting from our county. We’re not getting a plan,” Kim Frazier, founder of Hardin Valley Planning Advocates group, said.
Frazier and a lot of her neighbors are worried about traffic congestion, school overcrowding, and several other issues.
“We’re asking them to just consider what has been designated as the highest and best use of land in the sector plans. Those plans set a great policy framework and guideline for land use. For years we’ve been asking them to please uphold those sector plans and now we’re taking it a bit step further,” said Frazier.
Frazier has done the research and hopes she and her group can help guide county commissioners. She said, “We understand that we’ll get a good development and a good product it’s that we need to look at things with a bigger lense.”
Knox County Planning Alliance consulting engineer Lee Muller believes the county commissioners should be looking at the bigger picture too. He reports the county is losing $5,000 for every house that’s built right now.
“Look at all the development projects instead of each one individually. Look at all the projects in the pipeline, not just the few hundred that are on the books right now. There’s like 4,500 in the pipeline in some stage of approval or construction in the county right now. They need to look at all that and what that requires in terms of schools, sewer, police, fire stations,” said Muller.
Frazier added county leaders should not be reactive but intentional when it comes to development.
County commissioners have approved two rezoning requests for Hardin Valley: One at three units per acre, the other at 3 and a half units per acre. A vote on a third request has been delayed until February as the applicant was not in attendance.