Neighbors at planned 708-unit apartment complex register disapproval; The county commission will vote next Wednesday

One of the largest planned apartment complexes in Hamilton County is facing stiff opposition from neighbors.

A large group attended a session of the county commission’s agenda on Wednesday to voice concerns primarily about increased traffic.

The commission is due to vote on a rezoning application at 8699 Hickory Valley Road next Wednesday.

Mike Price, representing developer Trey Moss, said the site near Highway 58 has 53 acres and will be heavily protected from neighbors. He said there would be 13 units per acre, which he says is much lower than some projects.

Mr. Price agreed that traffic is a concern. He said the developer would add turning lanes to Hickory Valley Road and Highway 58.

A draft traffic study has been forwarded to county officials and includes 160 nearby townhouses already approved by city council and in the works.

Lynn Buckston said the project “is too big”, especially with the 160 townhouses using the same intersection.

She said 866 people had signed a petition calling for the rezoning to be denied.

New county resident Ted Padgett said one problem is a gas pipeline that runs through the property. Mr Price said the gas company had raised no objections to the development plan. He said, “We deal with gas easements all the time.”

Jerri Underwood said, “This project is way too big. We’re not ready for this. There are still a lot of unanswered questions.”

Residents said Hickory Valley Road is two lanes with no sidewalks or shoulders.

Commissioner Katherlyn Geter said she previously lived on Hickory Valley Road and was familiar with the traffic issues. She recommended seeing how the townhouses work first before adding the second project.

Commissioner Steve Highlander, who represents this district, said: “I’ve been down this road many times and it’s dangerous.

He said he wouldn’t have a problem if some 150 single-family homes came in, but he had a problem with all the apartments.