Neighbors Don’t Want Business in Neighborhood

By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief
By: Stephen McLamb, Bureau Chief

Blount County (WVLT) - Some say it's a home, others say it's a business.

Either way, as Stephen McLamb reports, one large metal structure is striking up a zoning battle in one Blount County neighborhood.

Kenneth Hodson says he had this home built in three weeks because he was moving out of a home he sold and needed a place to stay until his new home was built.

"You don't live in a metal building. The guy had all kinds of money,” says neighbor Brenda Dockins.

But many residents along the single lane road of Hitson Road aren't buying it and feel it was a backdoor way to make the property commercial.

"Who's going to live in a little ole area with two windows in it. I don't think so,” Dockins says.

Attempts by a previous owner to get the property rezoned to commercial have failed. County building officials confirm Hodson got a permit to build a home on the property and recently asked to have it rezoned to commercial. Hodson says his new home was built and so he moved and is renting to someone who would like to use it for commercial reasons. But some residents say it looks that way already.

"We've seen a lot of construction over there. A lot of commercial vehicles sitting there so it really didn't look like a residential development,” says neighbor Tim Blevins.

Hodson says he's following all the rules, even making the entrance along highway 411 to cut down on traffic. But residents say they don't want a business there, they want it to stay a neighborhood.

"Something that it's safe for kids to go out and play in the front yard and not have to worry about large vehicles,” says Blevins.

"If he puts a business there then it's going to have an effect on this road,” Dockins adds.

Officials with the building inspector’s office say the planning commission has approved Hodson's request with conditions, but it must be passed by the full county commission.

The county commission deals with that issue at their next meeting Thursday night.

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