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Knox County MPC denies Fox Road restaurant

Fox Road and Canton Hollow residents won a victory at Knoxville-Knox County Metro-politan Planning Commission’s meeting Thursday, July 8.

The MPC unanimously denied a request to rezone a piece of waterfront property from agricultural to commercial, with plans by CGK, Inc., to develop the land as a restaurant and bar.

The denial was made after commissioners arrived at their places to a literal stack of letters from local residents urging MPC members not to approve any commercial use off Fox Road.

“Any commercial use is inappropriate for this area,” Ken Chipley, a Fox Road resident, wrote MPC in an e-mail.

The neighborhood is predominantly residential, with one church nearby and Fox Road marina on adjacent property to the east.

Many of the residents’ requests for denial stemmed from traffic concerns.

“Our greatest concern about rezoning … is the characteristics of Fox Road. … For most of us who have lived in this area, we recognize the narrow Fox Road with its soft/low shoulder is a concern for the safety of drivers,” John Carnduff, president of the Tan Rara homeowners association, said.

“We believe the increased traffic and the danger for those who would be turning in and out of a restaurant … will present significant challenges for safe motoring,” he added.

Widening the road wasn’t an acceptable option either.

“With the railroad tracks on the one side and people’s houses so close on the other side, it would be unlawful to take what little yard these people have to improve the road to put something in the community that we don’t need or want,” Lakeview Baptist Church member Pam Hall said.

Sixty-two year old Judy Jenkins, a Jenkins Lane resident, said the opposition had nothing to do with fear of change.

“Anyone that has lived in SW Knox County as long as I have understands change is inevitable, and some of it is absolutely wonderful and has altered our lifestyles in positive ways.

“In this instance, though, it is unclear what a sports bar/restaurant will add to the community that we do not already have,” she said.

“We are invested in this community. It is our home. … Please do not destroy our residential neighborhood,” she added.

MPC members listened.

Commissioner Art Clancy made a motion to deny the rezoning request from CGK, Inc., and the motion was seconded by George Ewart. The agenda item was unanimously denied 13-0, with two commissioners absent.


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