The house demolished by Habitat for Humanity at 431 Springdale Avenue

Habitat for Humanity has won a two-year battle with the Oakwood Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association and is free to start construction on a house at E. 431 Springdale Avenue.

City Council voted unanimously Jan. 30 to reject OLPNA’s challenge of the Infill Housing Design Review Committee’s OK of a Certificate of Appropriateness for the house, which neighbors complained will not be a good fit for the historic neighborhood. The fight began when Habitat demolished a 100-year-old Queen Anne that stood on the property, saying that it was too dilapidated to restore.

After the meeting, OLPNA president Deborah Thomas posted this message on the neighborhood’s Facebook page:

“Just an update on OLPNA’s efforts concerning infill design.

“Thanks to all who contributed, not only financially but also by sending emails to City Council and signing the petition. Even though we lost this last appeal, our sustained efforts to hold the developer accountable raised awareness of this issue with City Council and earned their respect.

“Several members expressed their appreciation for how well organized OLPNA is and for the work we have done. As a result, we believe future infill housing in the Heart of Knoxville, not just our neighborhood, will be positively impacted.

“And, of course, the house Habitat will build is much improved from their initial design. We were glad to meet the future resident of 431 E Springdale after the proceedings and hope all will welcome this new family.”

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Written by Betty Bean