A controversial rezoning vote on an 88-acre parcel on Beverly Road scheduled to be heard at next Tuesday’s county commission meeting will be postponed until June.
The matter was originally on the April agenda, but was postponed at the request of Commissioner Michele Carringer, who represents the North Knoxville area where the property is located. The site is on a steep hill above a flood-prone creek on a street that connects to heavily congested Tazewell Pike. The proposed development has drawn strong opposition from area residents on grounds of flooding and traffic.
Last week, Carringer held a community meeting to allow her constituents to meet with the developer. They were unanimously opposed, and after the meeting, Carringer announced her opposition to the project.
Commission chair Randy Smith made the decision to give developer Randy Guignard a 30-day postponement at Monday night’s agenda review meeting despite Carringer’s objections. He said he believed that his colleagues would give Guignard the postponement next Tuesday, and he said he wanted to spare Carringer’s constituents the frustration of showing up for the full commission meeting and not having their issue heard. Organizers have hired a bus and families have postponed summer vacations in order to attend.
“I could feel which way the wind was blowing, so I made a decision in the interest of not wasting those folks’ time. They tell me that’s within my discretion as chair,” Smith said. “We don’t have anything (written) in policy, but developers typically get one (postponement).”