West Knoxville apartment complex causes controversy

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There's a big apartment disagreement in West Knoxville. People say the complex could change the landscape of the entire county.

The proposed high-rise apartment building would go on Emory Church Road. It's a quiet rural area now, but if the complex is approved, people worry it will bring with it a bunch of problems.

Ed Benson is stopping at nothing to keep the apartment complex away from his home on Emory Church Road. Westland West Homeowner Association Representative Ed Benson says, "This will totally change the way we've been developing the land for centuries."

A developer proposes a big complex with at least 328 apartments sitting on about 30 acres with 178 boat storage sheds and 76 boat slip marina. Rebecca Benson is a concerned resident. She says, "With a transient population like that, we worry about changing the entire landscape of the community."

They see big problems with traffic, overcrowded schools and increased crime in their quiet neighborhood. Rebecca tells us the paved parking lot will lead to environmental problems in the creek behind her house. Rebecca says, "It will be covered with asphalt and what will the runoff be into our drinking source."

She has a message for the Metropolitan Planning Commission thinking about rezoning the area. Rebecca says, "When did they become stewards of developers instead of stewards of the taxpayers."

The Metropolitan Planning Commission met Thursday afternoon to vote on rezoning. After hearing from the Bensons and developers, MPC decided to postpone the vote for 60 days.

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