Johnson City leaders approve controversial North Hills rezoning

The Johnson City Commission approved rezoning a piece of land near the Mall at Johnson City, a proposal that has generated controversy. 

City leaders voted 4-1 on the proposal Thursday evening.

The measure called for rezoning property along Mockingbird Lane to allow for the construction of an apartment complex. It also includes a new road that would connect part of the North Hills neighborhood to the complex. 

As a condition of its approval, the city will require the developer, Mitch Cox, to replace a planned gate with two traffic circles and additional traffic calming measures. 

“There was a caveat that went along with the motion that required some traffic calming activities to take place on both sides of the street,”said Larry Calhoun, Johnson City Commissioner.

Community members have raised concerns about increased traffic and potential flooding. 

“I know this can destroy the neighborhood,” said Carlos Conerly, Retired Council Planner. “Increased traffic, lowers property value.”

Their big concern is that the apartment complex would disrupt a natural drainage basin and bring a big increase in traffic.

Commissioner Jenny Brock was the only person that voted no on the rezoning proposal. She felt uncertain about traffic being able to get from Sundale to Mockingbird Lane.

“On our last time we absolutely came up with the concept that we wouldn’t make it so you can get from Sundale to the mall. It changed tonight kinda at the last minute and I just wasn’t comfortable.”  

There is no timeline on when construction for the apartment complex will begin.

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