Harrison Glen resident Glenn Davis continued his push at Monday’s Lenoir City Council meeting for adding a second entrance to their growing subdivision.
Council on Sept. 23 approved $2,500 for an in-depth traffic analysis along Harrison Road and Harrison Glen, but Davis questioned the results and timetable of the study after a recent self-conducted survey of the number houses in Chestnut Ridge and Crestwood Hills.
“I identified the fact that in total when our Harrison Glen is built out completely, Harrison Glen will be as big as both of those neighborhoods combined,” Davis said. “No. 2, I identified the fact their traffic situation is in no way similar to ours — neither neighborhood has no more than three ways to leave their neighborhoods or to get back into their neighborhoods, two of which do not include passing through the school zone. Further, I found they have a four-way traffic sign up there, which allows everyone an opportunity to get in and out of their neighborhoods, even in times of heavy traffic. Of course, we have no such thing at Glenfield Drive and Harrison Road.”
Davis suggested the city implement two stop signs on Harrison Road in conjunction with Glenfield Drive, but the study negated the idea.
Lenoir City Mayor Tony Aikens and Councilman Eddie Simpson recommended Davis conduct a door-to-door survey with a 75 percent signature rate in order to present a viable petition before city council.
“Like Harrison Road, I wouldn’t recommend, and I don’t think any engineer would recommend, to stop on that main road,” Simpson said. “That’s just my thoughts, I don’t recommend at all a through street, that it be done. I don’t disagree with the mayor and Ms. (Amber) Scott’s analysis, but if someone asks for something, an association or a home owners association or whatever, I make them have 75 percent of the vote to let them know that everybody in there wants what they’re asking for.
“Once we take a road, let’s just say somewhere over on Doyle Avenue, let’s say that is your second entrance and exit in that subdivision, I don’t think that neighborhood is realizing that the entire Lenoir City area — West Hills, Silver Ridge, all that area in there — they’re going to be going through your subdivision to get to the high school, to get to (U.S. Highway) 321,” he added.
Davis left the meeting immediately after speaking, which led Harrison Glen residents Robert Pawlick and Susan Vogt to voice additional concerns.
“Those code violations are specific to street lights, the sidewalks and their conditions ... let’s put it this way, I’d be surprised if the ADA and other agencies that support the fair treatment of the public would think highly of the sidewalk conditions in two of the three cul-de-sacs just off of Glenbrook Drive,” Pawlick said. “They’re torn up, there’s manhole covers sitting up to 10 inches above the ground, there’s a section of sidewalk cut in half. ... Another related issue, there’s a storm drain between our house and our next door neighbor’s, when the roads were last paved through there, topped off and cleaned up, for some reason they paved over the storm drain at our house, I’m not sure why. It’s still apparently an open issue.”
Vogt recently moved into the subdivision but is worried about the possibility of a road expansion to make a left turn lane.
“I’m a new transplant here from California and me and my husband moved here a month ago, and I live in one of the four homes right by the soccer field,” she said. “I’m here to find out what’s going on about the traffic. I’m so new, I didn’t know there was a problem when I bought my home. It was not explained that there was issues and there was any road hazards or they were going to put a stop sign or median or anything there, and now I’m being told they may take some of my property and widen that road and put a turn lane in the middle. I was almost late because I had to wait for 12 cars to pass for me to get out of my driveway. It is a definite issue, and I wish it had been told to me before I bought the house, I might not have bought it.”
Aikens voiced frustration regarding an email Davis sent to mayor’s assistant LaVonne Barbour.
“I wish Mr. Davis was still here because I’m shocked and appalled by treatment he gave my administrative assistant a few days ago,” Aikens said. “I don’t appreciate Mr. Davis coming in and jumping on a lady. I sure hope that he doesn’t treat all women the way he treated my secretary. It’s a shame, it’s shameful. And then he sends out an email as soon as he gets home ... I want the members of the general public and the press to listen to it. He comes in and apologizes 30, 40 minutes later, ‘I doubt that it was a pleasure seeing you as we spoke today.’ This is what he said because she was trying to be nice and polite to him because he said I wouldn’t let him speak at the last city council meeting, which was not true. ‘Don’t shoot the messenger,’ he says ... I’m sorry, ‘I shot the messenger,’ meaning what he told her or how he was belligerent to her, and I don’t appreciate it one bit.”
Aikens also addressed online comments regarding city council’s “unwillingness” to resolve the situation.
“I’m also shocked that someone in that subdivision, I don’t know if it’s you Mr. Pawlick, I’m not going to say it’s you because I don’t know, that it’s being put out on the internet that city council and myself is not willing to help the residents out there — that is not true at all and you all know that. We have listened to you, we have spent $2,500 of the taxpayers’ money, we spent thousands and thousands of dollars at the intersection of Harrison Road and Old Highway 95 ... but to say that we’ve done nothing is not true at all. The traffic study that was spoken about, I was very clear that it wasn’t going to happen overnight.”
Aikens said has heard from other city and county officials who do not want a new entrance/exit added.
“I’ve had several calls, including the county commissioner, that doesn’t agree with what you all are wanting to do, doesn’t agree with another entrance and exit,” Aikens said. “I’ve had three other calls since then, so not everybody in that neighborhood agrees that it needs a second entrance and exit. They see it as a safety issue, and it’s well known ... burglars go into a subdivision they can escape from, they don’t pick those subdivisions that’s got one way in, one way out. There’s just been some untruths told.”
In other news, Lenoir City Council:
• Approved the second reading of the Lenoir City Planning Commission’s consideration to rezone property located off Reeves Street from R-1 Low Density Residential District to R-2 Medium Density Residential District.
• Approved the first reading of the planning commission’s recommendation regarding adoption of an ordinance providing a plan of services for 4.4 acres located off Williams Ferry Road proposed for annexation.
• Approved the first reading of the planning commission’s consideration to rezone property located off Williams Ferry Road from R-4 Residential District to R-3 High Density Residential District.
• Approved the first reading of the planning commission’s consideration to vacate identified right-of-way for unimproved portion of alleyways between West Hills Drive and Doyle Street.
• Adopted a resolution with Covenant Health regarding Fort Loudoun Medical Center upgrades.
• Approved easement agreement between Lenoir City and Sonic Drive-In.
• Passed contract extension with Tennessee Department of Transportation for Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Phase I project.
• Approved purchasing committee’s recommendation for stormwater system maintenance to not exceed $5,000.
• Approved purchasing committee’s proposal from Michael Brady Inc., regarding services on the Central Park Phase II project.
• Approved Purchasing Committee’s recommendation to bid for two new Parks and Recreation Department trucks.
• Passed memorandum of understanding that will allow Loudon County Criminal Court jury trials to be conducted in the city’s courtroom as needed.
• Cancelled the Jan. 27 and Feb. 10 meetings.