BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Despite opposition from many residents, the Bristol, Tennessee City Council moved forward with approving the necessary re-zonings and annexations for a 170-home expansion to the Fox Meadows neighborhood.

The council voted unanimously on second reading to re-zone two adjoined properties neighboring Fox Meadows. Developer Ardent Property Group expressed to the council they would build 176 single-family homes on the property.

The homes would be built upon about 45 acres, 22 of which were annexed from Sullivan County.

Bristol, Tennessee Mayor Mahlon Luttrell said the vote was necessary for Bristol’s growth.

“Housing shortage in Bristol as well as a lot of other communities has been a problem for some time, and this development I think is going to spur on additional development,” Luttrell said.

At the first reading, several Fox Meadows residents showed their concern for the expansion. On Tuesday night, few showed up.

Fox Meadows resident David Rowe said despite signs canvassed around the neighborhood urging the council to stop the re-zoning, few came because they believed the council was not listening.

“There’s going to be a lot of traffic, a lot of noise, a lot of construction, and none of that was addressed by the council, it’s just the building is going to happen,” Rowe said.

The current proposal adds just one entrance to the neighborhood to the southwest of Bristol Motor Speedway off Beaver Creek Road.

Construction is nothing new to the neighborhood. The final phase of the original plan is still being built. But Rowe is concerned the compactness of the new homes could lower the value of his home.

“They’re not building the same houses. They’re throwing them up in a hurry, and quality will suffer,” Rowe said. “How does that help our value for our neighborhood when the house next door to us is falling apart?”

Fox Meadows residents also had concerns about the type of zoning for the expansion, a planned residential district, which allows for multi-family structures.

(Photo: WJHL)

Luttrell said the city will keep pressure on the developer to stick to their original single-family home plan.

“He’s under contract. He can’t do anything different,” Luttrell said. “We’ll be watching the developer, make sure they’re doing what they say they’re doing.”

Luttrell said another development near the casino has its re-zoning pre-approved.

But Rowe had a word of caution for residents in other neighborhoods in the path of rapid expansion.

“You better be aware when things come up in City Council, you better know what’s happening because it could be your property next,” Rowe said.

Luttrell said future housing developments will be key for the city as it grows.

“We have to stay close to it, and we have to be projecting, forecasting what’s to come,” Luttrell said.

At previous meetings, Ardent Property Group said they would like to start building this month, and have the entire project complete in about three years.