JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) –Thursday afternoon’s work session discussing the Keebler annexation brought up a lot of questions and concerns.
Johnson City leaders were hoping for clarification, including Mayor Joe Wise.
“Because when you start to get into these sorts of questions about annexation and the zoning that we apply, they have long-term repercussions,” said Wise. “This isn’t like the color you paint a wall that you can change your mind next week and paint it a different color.”
Before being presented to the city commission, the plan had to go through the planning commission, and it was not a unanimous vote. Two members opposed the plan due to not the annexation not having enough open space, including spaces for yards and land for conservation.
“What’s going to develop out there is going to take a certain shape and form and we want to exercise an appropriate level of care and judgment in setting the stage that what we end up with is what we really want to end up with,” said Wise.
Other community members have brought up concerns about the increase in traffic that will come with this development.
“I mean it is going to generate a lot of traffic,” said Anthony Todd with the Traffic Division of Public Works. “We understand that and so it’s not to say their concerns are not unfounded. They are. So what we have to do is look for ways to solve the problems that are caused by the additional traffic.”
Todd told News Channel 11 the Keebler annexation plan will have to do traffic studies upon presenting a plan.
“If they’re annexed or whether they’re not annexed, then they will still probably have to do a traffic study for any development,” said Todd.
A public hearing is scheduled on Dec. 15, then the city commissioners can choose to vote on the plan or postpone the vote until a later meeting.