One of the largest apartment complexes planned in Hamilton County is running into stiff opposition from neighbors.
A large group attended a County Commission agenda session on Wednesday to air concerns mainly about added traffic.
The commission is set for a vote on a requested zoning change at 8699 Hickory Valley Road next Wednesday.
Mike Price, representing developer Trey Moss, said the site near Highway 58 has 53 acres and will be heavily buffered from neighbors. He said there would be 13 dwelling units per acre, which he said is much lower than some projects.
Mr. Price agreed that traffic is a concern. He said the developer will add turn lanes at Hickory Valley Road and at Highway 58.
A draft of a traffic study has been forwarded to county officials, and it includes 160 nearby townhomes that are already approved by the City Council and in the works.
Lynn Buckston said the project "is too big," especially coupled with the 160 townhomes using the same intersection.
She said 866 people have signed on to a petition asking that the rezoning be denied.
Ted Padgett, a new resident to the county, said an issue is a natural gas pipeline that goes through the property. Mr. Price said the gas company has not raised objections to the development plan. He said, "We deal with gas easements all the time."
Jerri Underwood said, "This project is way too large. We're not ready for this. There are many unanswered questions."
Residents said Hickory Valley Road is two lanes with no sidewalks and no shoulders.
Commissioner Katherlyn Geter said she formerly lived at Hickory Valley Road and was familiar with the traffic issues. She recommended seeing how the townhomes work out first before adding the second project.
Commissioner Steve Highlander, who represents that district, said, "I have driven this road many times and it is dangerous."
He said he would not have a problem if some 150 single-family homes were going in, but does have an issue with all the apartments.