A developer is building an apartment complex along Tazewell Pike in Northeast Knox County, and the neighbors have some questions.
Neyland Apartment Associates plans to build a complex with more than 200 apartment units. The land is near Beverly Park and about a mile away from Shannondale Elementary School.
This project, called "The Cottages at Tazewell Pike" is expected to be high-end apartments, according to a spokesperson with the developer.
"This is going to be a very good addition to the area. This is gonna be class A high-end very nice apartment homes. We think it will be wonderful for the area," said Mike Cohen.
However, this project has some neighbors concerned.
Some said their biggest fear is that the apartments will cause more traffic in an already busy area. Another concern is that this will overcrowd the schools.
George Sanger uses Tazewell Pike often and he fears the complex could add to traffic issues, especially around Shannondale Elementary.
"Traffic is bad, especially for people driving this way. We had to implement planned drop offs and pickups," said Sanger.
Sanger also worries about school capacity.
"It wasn't designed to handle any more students really if any," said Sanger.
Knox County Commissioner Amy Broyles said there were some concerns with the age of the zoning maps. She says the maps haven't been updated since the 1960s.
In 1988, looking into rezoning was tabled at a County Commission meeting. Broyles said if they update them, this complex might not be able to build on that location.
"I don't know that there is really going to be any recourse beyond legal means for this particular situation. But I do know we need to get busy and do what we need to do. Go over the county, update the maps as necessary, and make sure this never happens again," said Broyles.
The developer did a traffic study, and raised no flags for possible traffic problems. Spokesperson Melissa Ogden with Knox County Schools said the complex shouldn't overcrowd the schools in the area. Shannondale Elementary is renovating, adding more classrooms.
"We think we will primarily bring in singles, young couples before they have kids school age. And older people who are tired of the upkeep and want to move into an apartment," said Cohen about the overcrowding in schools.
Cohen said the apartments will promote growth in the area and add to the county's tax revenue.
The apartment complex is expected to be finished by 2015. The Shannondale renovations will be finished by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.