Another Taxpayer Give Away  



Emily's Landing

(7 pictures)

Will Commissioners be Good Stewards of Taxpayer Assets & Money?


By: Pat Hunter

September 7, 2008


Commissioners just love to pander to developers especially when it comes to taxpayer giveaways and gated communities!


Commissioners are poised to give their nod of approval to close Holston Dr., a public road, and give it away for a pittance. By giving the road away for the mere cost of reimbursing the county for paving the road last year, this will help to greatly enhance the development to a gated community and valuable commercial real estate. This is hard to believe but who gave permission to cover up the public road with dirt?


At Monday’s Loudon County Commission meeting, commissioners will vote to close and abandon 2100’ of Holston Drive. But before Commissioners can vote to close and abandon the public road, they must first hear from citizens and a Public Hearing is scheduled to be held at 6:00 PM prior to the Commission meeting.


Since this road is located in District 3, let’s ask Commissioner Bob Franke and his friend on the Budget Committee Commissioner Don Miller, both own valuable lake property, if either one would ever give away the driveway to their personal residences for the cost of paving? We know the answer to that don’t we, Commissioner Franke and Miller?


When you cross the dam and go towards Maryville, Allan Shores is located just past JB’s Market and Holston Dr. is located off Allan Shores. Allan Shore is also the main road into Ft. Loudon Estates 1 and Holston Rd. use to connect Ft. Loudon Estates 1 & 2. Holston Rd. intersected Sandy Shores before a gate was installed to close it off. Holston use to run parallel to Hwy 321.


Back in 2005, the previous owners Joyce and Donald Leo went before the planning commission and county commission with all sorts of grandiose plans and ideas. Remember the heart wrenching stories that the Leos told. “The land, owned by Donald and Joyce Leo, has been in Joyce Williams Leo's family for five generations, dating back to 1829. Her father originally developed a portion of the land now known as Fort Loudon Estates.” …“ According to Joyce Leo, her great-grandmother Emily Hubble floated down the Tennessee River sometime in the 1820s, setting foot on the land that will now bear her name.” But somewhere along the way, the Leo’s sold out to a developer (s).


According to media print, 14 acres would be rezoned with 4- units per acre; nearly 48 more acres would have nearly 2- units per acre and 22 acres would be zoned General Commercial District with PUD Overlay. The property will be developed into valuable commercial use and a “gated community” called Emily’s Landing, which will be in very close proximity to valuable lakefront property.

A developer named Chester Franklin has requested that he be allowed to close off Holston Rd. One problem is that most of Holston Rd. is now covered with dirt!


The developer owns the properties that are bisected by the road according to planner Russ Newman. Parcel 16 is owned by the Graves family however the developer and the Graves worked out an agreement and a TDOT approved permit for a road. Parcel 16 would be re-subdivided and property owners would get a portion of property to place a driveway, which will front on Highway 321.


Planner Newman said that he had spoken to Road Superintendent Sean Giles about this matter. Last year N. Holston road was paved and Giles had asked the developer to reimburse the highway department for that cost, which the developer agreed to do that but no amount was disclosed. 


Allan Shore will be the road to provide access to the development so who is supposed to widen Allan Shore Drive to accommodate the additional traffic; taxpayers or developer? 


It appears that the Leo’s sold the family farm and left the neighbors of Ft. Loudon Estates 1 having to deal with all the headaches of additional traffic from the proposed development. This is one example of how a development was marketed to the neighbors as one thing just to get the neighbors and commissioners to agree to the rezoning. 


Should a valuable county asset be given away just for the cost of paving? The county road and right of way has been maintained by the county for years. Closing and abandoning the road will make the use much more accessible to the developer and future property owners, planner Newman said at a recent public meeting.


There’s no doubt that the county road will greatly enhance the sale of the developer’s property. Who on Commission has the gumption to open his or her mouth about this give away?  At the very least, taxpayers are entitled to fair market value and nothing less, with all the proceeds of the sale to go to the school building fund!