LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A developer is hoping to build hundreds of affordable townhomes—and it is not sitting well with some people who live nearby.
The La Vergne property in question is up for rezoning and backs up to the largest subdivision in Tennessee.
Residents said enough is enough and that the quality of life as they know it will soon be lost.
Dana McGowen has lived on Stones River Road in La Vergne for 26 years. The simple way of life drew her there.
“That’s what made us fall in love with this piece of property, because it was like being out in the woods and away from everybody,” McGowen said.
It’s that property—24.5 acres of it—that backs up to hers that’s up for rezoning from R1 low density single family homes to R3 high density, which could include townhomes or apartments.
“La Vergne is the people in this area, not just the board. They should listen to all of the concerns,” McGowen told News 2.
Board members already got an earful. Nearly a dozen residents voiced their opposition at a board meeting on Jan. 10.
“As a realtor, you would think I’ll be jumping up and down all happy to have about 300 townhomes right in my back yard to sell all of them and make some money, but I’m not because I know what a terrible impact it’s going to have on me, my neighbors, and everyone in La Vergne,” resident Debbie Ewing told the board.
“The crime,” resident Nicole McGowen said during public comment. “If you built highly onto our population, the crime is going to increase significantly.”
In addition to crime, residents are concerned about school overcrowding and increased traffic.
“They race up and down that road every day,” Nicole McGowen said.
The land is near the roundabout at Stones River Road which backs up to the Lake Forest Development, the largest subdivision in the state.
“You people are wanting to put more back there, more. We have a population problem in La Vergne,” resident Victoria Whitlow told the Board.
On top of this, an additional two acres owned by Joseph Pardue Jr. is also up for the same rezoning, but he is planning to stay in the home on the property for now, according to city planning documents.
Developer Amnon Shreibman, who is hoping to rezone the nearly 25 acres, will also building dozens of single family homes up the street on another tract of land nearly Hollandale Road and Stones River Road.
Residents said they’ve had enough.
“The infrastructure is not just set up for that. You have 65 more homes. That’s 65 more families,” resident John Skinner said. “Water that used to run in the creek is now backing up in my mother’s yard.”
The developer told News 2 he’s hoping to build 250 to 300 affordable units priced between $125,000 to $200,000.
The La Vergne Mayor and Board of Aldermen approved rezoning of the two acres of land on first reading but voted to defer the rezoning of the 24.5 acres. The board will revisit the issue at its February meeting.
Citizens will hold a meeting of their own on Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the La Vergne library.
The group called “La Vergne TN Vote No to R-3 Zoning” has also started an online petition on Change.org. So far, about 118 people have signed it.