Local developer Barry Shular of Heartland Development has asked the Sevier County Planning Commission to approve the concept of a multi 26-lot subdivision on 6-plus acres off Chilhowee School Road near Seymour Intermediate School between Kyker Circle and Academy Drive. According to the plan, the lots would be divided up and made into 26 townhouses. The proposed development would be named Meadow Lake Village.
At the hearing, two dozen Seymour residents from the adjoining sub-division came to protest the development. Area homeowners feel the development will add to flooding problems already in existence. According to the protesters, the area floods badly at least twice a year now.
Due to the large turnout from area residents, commissioners decided they needed to collect more information before giving approval.
A representative from the Sevier County Planning Office stated, “In order to proceed with the development a concept plan must be made which is what Heartland Development was showing. It basically consists of showing title block, location of the property and adjoining property owners, more or less a map showing acreage and there must be a note stating if it’s in the flood plain.”
A concerned citizen who declined to be identified stated, “In addition to the problems of drainage and zoning, there is going to be a lot of heavy equipment traffic through the area, which is very close to our schools, and which the roads aren’t built to take. Who do you think will end up paying for them when they’re all torn up? You and I will.”
Shular’s company, Heartland Development, developed Creekside Plantation, a premiere golfing community off Boyd’s Creek Rd. The company is currently working on several projects in the Seymour area including a new strip mall to open near McDonalds on Chapman Hwy.
County Planner David Taylor gives recommendations on submitted projects. Taylor said Heartland Development submitted the project for concept approval but for now that it had been put on hold. “He did not receive approval and it is being tabled for thirty days while the developer works some of the issues out. It will be presented at the next meeting,” stated Taylor. Taylor also stated that Heartland Development does not need to show any plans for drainage at this point since it is still at the beginning phases of the process, but a plan showing the drainage would have to be made before final approval was given. “I was on the property today (Monday) since we had so much rain and there are some serious drainage issues on this property, and we will need to get them resolved before we give final approval. I will also be working with the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC) since there is a blue line creek going through the property. If you are developing property or disturbing it you have to file permits with the state. A blue line stream is protected.”
The property was sold through auction to Heartland Development through Powell Auction Company. According to the owner Howard Philips “We sold it as a five-acre track, along with two other lots. We sold it as pastureland and it was sold ‘as is.’”
The five-acre parcel originally sold for $34,100 but then it was grouped with two other lots and resold for a total of $85,000.
According to Shular, “My survey engineer Marcus Whaley said there was no problem. I also hired another company to take a look at the soil. Everything was checked out before I ever bought the property. It will certainly work. The building will be built to an elevation equivalent to Academy Drive. I don’t buy property for pastureland. I have a dog.”
So will the approval come at a later date? “It’s just to early to tell,” says Taylor. “We will need more information before we can make that determination.”
A public meeting is planned at Seymour Intermediate School, February 20th at 6:30 p.m. by the surrounding homeowners association to further discuss the condominium development. Shular stated that he wants to work with area residents. “I’m willing to work with them in helping to meet their needs.” Shular said he is starting the development to offer town homes that are more affordable than the higher-priced $180,000 homes on the golf course. “These town homes will range in price from $100,000 and up.” Shular added that he knew the project would work because he had a main sewer line installed that runs from Meadlowlake Estates all the way down to Seymour Intermediate School. “That’s what’s making this happen,” said Shular.
Residents prepare to fight development