Why We Oppose
High density development means lots of hard space with less natural ground to absorb water. This creates runoff. Some of the subdivisions in the area already experience drainage issues and we feel the drainage systems down-stream will not handle the additional water flow created by this development resulting in flooding. We feel the developer should be required to upgrade the drainage systems of the neighboring subdivisions that will be impacted.
This is a high-density section-8 family development. The original zoning approval for PR <5 DA/AC (file: 10-M-20-RZ) was based on the projected school impact of 23 additional students. However, the current proposed development is high-density section-8 three- and four-bedroom units. This type development would result in a much greater school impact. We feel the number of allowed units should be re-evaluated based on the new information.
The property is located near a blind hill on Northshore. The 2022 TDOT traffic count at the Northshore station located closest to the proposed development indicated 17,359 annual average daily traffic count. The developer did have a traffic study prepared on their behalf that indicated there would be minimal traffic impact from the development. However, we believe the study is flawed because it is based on a roadway with a prevailing speed of 36 to 45 MPH. Anyone who has ever driven Northshore knows the speeds far exceed that rate. In addition, it is based on trip statistics for typical single-family attached housing. Most single-family attached housing (i.e., apartments) are occupied by younger single persons with no or few children who are often going to college or working starter jobs rather than typical 9-5 jobs. The proposed development is high-density section-8 three- and four-bedroom units, which will include numerous children. The study does not appear to consider the impact of traffic for those children to be driven to school and for school related activities.
Lack of Conformity
Attached dwellings would not blend well with the rural-residential character of the area. Area residents moved here to enjoy the non-urban feel of the area. Knox County has a history of being a great place to live due to the wide range of housing options. There are rural type areas, residential/subdivisions, and areas with an urban feel. It allows people to choose the surrounding that best fits their personality, like a mini-farm or single person home in a rural area on one end of the spectrum or a loft apartment in downtown Knoxville on the other end of the spectrum. Knox County should keep the desirability of the wide range of choices in mind when making development decisions.
Lack of Fiscal Responsibilty
We believe section 8 housing is not the best use of this property for taxpayers. This property last sold for 2 million dollars and the rumored proposed sale price to the section 8 developer is 3 million dollars. Spending this much money on the underlying land for a small development is not cost effective for taxpayers. Since it is taxpayers not the developer who may ultimately pay for the development as costs for such developments are generally recouped from federal, state, and local government agencies, grants, and credits.
Harms Intended Recipients
As there are limited funds allocated for such government projects, more cost-effective development allows more units to be built for those people in need. If the development was built on more cost-effective land, more units
could be afforded.
Harm to Knox County Income Potential
We do not promote high density development. However, if the property is developed into high density, it makes financial sense to develop it into 56 smaller patio homes. For example, if the homes sold for $650,000 each, it would result in a total $36,400,000 of market value. The market value taken at an assessment rate of 25% and tax rate of .01554 would generate additional property taxes of $141,414 (each year) to help Knox County. This could be utilized for such items as road repair, etc. This would help all the citizens of Knox County instead of just 56.