Neighbors of Knoxville CC lead kill of Choto affordable housing plan; Zachary quote

CONCORD — Dominion Group’s recent announcement to withdraw its application for the Choto Landing affordable housing project “marks a significant triumph for the residents of Knox County, underscoring the power of a united community,” stated a press release from Neighbors of Knoxville Community Coalition, the main coordinated effort to stop the development.

“A coalition of area neighbors appreciates Dominion Group’s commitment to responsible development and respect for the character of the Choto community.”

Dominion Group planned a 56-unit townhome community, which would house residents earning less than $70,000 per year, at 12320 Northshore Drive, just east of Town of Farragut limits in Knox County.

Residents of the area, led by NKCC, held a protest Tuesday, Sept. 5, opposing the development (see specific concerns later in this story).

According to a press release from State Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14, which includes Farragut) Tuesday, Sept. 12, “I confirmed that Dominion sold their property off Northshore to a private owner and they are no longer pursuing the development at Choto Landing.

“When the people engage, it changes the trajectory,” Zachary further stated.

“The group believes that this outcome will not only benefit its residents, but also strengthen the community partnership, paving the way for future endeavors that prioritize Knox County’s well-being and the interests of its residents,” the NKCC release stated. “This collective achievement serves as a testament to the incredible results that can be attained when a community comes together with a shared purpose. 

“Neighbors of Knoxville is a passionate coalition of community members dedicated to preserving the character and safety of our beloved Knoxville neighborhood,” the release further stated.

“... Since its inception a month ago, Neighbors of Knoxville has brought to light concerns about the inappropriateness of Choto Landing, rallying concerned neighbors who have created websites, social media communities and petitions with more than 6,000 signatures against this development.

“At its peak, more than 300 public comments against Choto Landing were been posted and directed at Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission. ...”

As for specifics on why NKCC opposed this development, “High density development means lots of hard space with less natural ground to absorb water ...,” the NKCC press release stated; “Overcrowded schools fears ... Traffic fears: “The property is located near a blind hill (along) Northshore (Drive). ... 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 concerns: Attached dwellings would not blend well with the rural-residential character of the area. ...; Lack of fiscal responsibility: Section 8 housing is not the best use of this property for taxpayers. ...

“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 ...;” and Harm to Knox 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. ...”