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Hundreds of homes could come to rural East Knox, neighbors fighting against plans

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 5:31 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -An East Knoxville community could be expanding with hundreds of new homes, but many potential neighbors are fighting against the proposed project on this land.

Tim Vineyard moved his family to the Ruggles Ferry Pike community in 2016 but fears a possible subdivision next to his home is going to cost him his countryside living.

“This development isn’t in alignment with what our rural community is,” said Vineyard. " “We were ready to get back to a quality quiet life.”

Knoxville developer Blaine Cristman wants to build 482 single-family homes across 182 acres along Ruggles Ferry. The plan is concerning to Vineyard and dozens of his neighbors meeting with Knox county officials with their questions Friday evening.

“It’s disheartening for sure. Like we heard tonight, there’s nobody really opposed to growth and to people moving into the area and developments. We want it to be thoughtful,” Carl Zimmerman, a resident, said.

Their questions were about utilities, losing parts of land and traffic.

“We already experience traffic delays and even the traffic study showed delays currently and it would be highly problematic without any modifications,” Vineyard said.

A new traffic study shows the nearby intersections and roadways are already dangerous and could get worse.

“What are the things that maybe the developer can do to work with the community to say let’s make this a win for everybody and I think we can find that balance,” Zimmerman said.

Chrisman told WVLT News the community wants to be good stewards of the property and will follow Knox County’s planning and zoning guidelines.

The county’s planning commission will discuss the project Monday.

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