A list of items that increase property values might include good schools, convenient access to grocery stores, nearby banking, parks and mature shade trees. A “beer garden” just a stone’s throw from your front door doesn’t make the list.
This Thursday, the Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission, formerly MPC, will consider approving an application by Baxter Properties for a sector plan amendment and rezoning that would permit a beer garden to open within hailing distance of historic homes in Adair Gardens. One homeowner, Rachelle Joy, forcefully stated her opposition in a letter to the Planning Commission.
“I live at 210 Adair Drive, just 3 doors down from the property of the proposed zone change of 220 Adair Drive. I am completely opposed to changing the residential property to a commercial zone. We purchased our 93-year-old house in Adair Gardens 3 years ago. We bought it because it was in a historic district and because the previous owner had painstakingly restored it to its former beauty … And ultimately, would you want a beer garden in your neighborhood? Open late with loud music and people who had been drinking leaving in their cars driving down your neighborhood street? … Use the areas that are commercial already – there are plenty!”
Charlotte Davis and Carlene Malone are co-chairs of the Fountain City Town Hall land use committee. They argued (in part) that “220 Adair Drive is part of a stable residential neighborhood. It is in the residential block, not on a corner. We disagree with the staff’s characterization of the proposed Plan and zoning changes as ‘a minor extension of the CG designation.’ As proposed, vehicular traffic would be introduced directly on to Adair Drive from the commercial property. The introduction of commercial zoning and use will negatively impact the stability of this neighborhood.”
Development for its own sake appears to be the shaky foundation upon which the property owner’s application rests. Commercial development is neither inherently beneficial nor harmful to a neighborhood, but these property owners can hardly be blamed if they don’t see the merit in a beer garden down the street.
The Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission meets Thursday, Nov. 14, at 1:30 in the City County Building.
Larry Van Guilder is the business/government editor for KnoxTNToday.