March 7, 2024
Planning Commission meeting

Public Comments

19 Comments
X ZIP Code
Applicant
12-B-23-SU
Applicant Correspondence
February 12, 2024 at 11:37 AM
Calvary Chapel would like to thank our neighbors for joining us at the church to discuss our driveway. You were all very kind and it was a delight to meet you! For the neighbors and the planning commissioners/staff who couldn’t attend, we want to mention again why the driveway is so essential. First, for safety and emergency purposes such as police, fire and rescue.  In the event that our only entrance is ever blocked, as has happened in the past, we have no other access for emergency personnel. Secondly, last year we broke ground on a parking expansion that was approved with the stipulation that we would construct a building expansion.  We have now almost completed this new parking area and due to terrain and unexpected rock removal we have invested close to a million dollars to complete.  We are deeply committed to this project and are moving forward with plans to construct the required building expansion. While planning our building expansion, it has been discovered that the fire department will require an additional driveway access. This obviously furthers the need for this driveway at this time. Thanks again for considering our situation and know that our heart is to build relationships with our neighbors and the beautiful city of Knoxville. We strive to be a blessing to you all. Feel free to reach out to me at the church 865-609-1385. If I’m not available, leave a message and I will call you back.
applicant
MARK
37920
12-B-23-SU
MARK (37920), February 8, 2024 at 11:26 AM
I am a former Knoxville/Knox County MPC Commissioner and a 47 year resident of Topside Road. I have observed much traffic development, particularly on East Topside. What was once a beautifuuly winding country road has become a thoroughfare where the majority are non-residents jetting through to get from Alcoa Highway to other locations east (or vice-versa). While this situation is currently marginally tolerable, the addition of the proposed Masterson Road would render it "beyond the bale" when considering it a fully functional county road. In my opinion, upon its completion, if allowed, it would become very disfunctional and a waste of money without illuminating a problem. Unfortunately, it would fall in the category of benefitting only one entity (Calvert Church) to the considerable detriment of the citizens of the Topside community. I strongly oppose this proposal.
12-B-23-SU
Ron (37920), February 20, 2024 at 10:18 AM
See attached letter submitted via mail
View Attachment
https://agenda.knoxplanning.org/attachments/20240220101806.pdf
William
37920
12-B-23-SU
William (37920), January 31, 2024 at 3:39 PM
I've been a resident of The Anchorage subdivision, which is accessed off of Topside Road, for over 10 years. Over the years, I've seen the traffic on Topside road increase substantially. As you know, Topside road is an extremely narrow, twisting road that currently services residential traffic from subdivisions from Alcoa Highway to Maryville Pike. There are dozens of homes in these subdivisions that have young children playing near Topside. Adding this much additional traffic is certainly not safe for the children living nearby. In addition, I've lost count of the number off accidents that have occurred on Topside and the number of mailboxes that have been hit over the years. I drive a large pickup truck and make it a habit to fold my mirrors in when traveling on Topside to prevent my mirror from hitting trucks coming from the opposite direction. A couple of years ago my mirror was hit by an oncoming truck, which shattered my window, sending glass into my face and into the cab of the truck. In my case the other driver left the scene without stopping. If you have the time to drive down topside road I think you will agree that the road was never designed to handle commercial traffic of any kind. It simply makes no sense to divert commercial traffic from John Sevier highway, which was designed and built to handle commercial traffic, onto a small residential road that was not.
Jeffrey
37920
12-B-23-SU
Jeffrey (37920), January 31, 2024 at 4:00 PM
I am not sure that I picked the right item but in my mailbox today was a xerox cutout about Calvary Chapel Church unloading all of the Church to Topside Road. First how is there something in my mailbox not delivered by the post office, I did not think that was legal? Second we are being given all of 1 day notice of the proposal at the planning commission with no facts or studies done on the additional traffic or impact to the community. If anyone has driven down Topside Road from the Church, Topside Road is extremely narrow. Two vehicles have a hard oing in opposite directions trucks often hit the signs and scrape the paint on there vehicles and many pick up trucks drive on or over the yellow lines, if your tire gets off the road even slightly your flying off the road. I have seen a Range Rover crash in the turn and a car crashed through a fence doing just what I said in the last 6 weeks. In September a car crashed into the guad rail and was stuck like a turtle, it took me and another pick up truck to pull it off just to get it back to pavement. Adding traffic to this street lacks all common sense. This is truly a bad idea, please consider not allowing adding traffic to Topside road. If the Church can expand without adding traffic to Topside Road, God Bless but there needs to be a proven study first for sure and Topside Road to Alcoa Highway really should be looked at for how narrow it is as it sits now,
Tiffany
37920
12-B-23-SU
Tiffany (37920), January 31, 2024 at 4:22 PM
I strongly oppose allowing this road to be built off Topside. While I respect the church’s right to ensure safe exits for their members, the solution should be sought after from TDOT, not in trying to use a tiny, residential road for what would amount to commercial traffic. In the almost 6 years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen how Topside already can’t handle the construction through-traffic that has occurred with the Alcoa Highway construction. I’ve had to stop my vehicle on multiple occasions to allow a truck or oversized vehicle to safely pass to avoid a head-on collision. There is no way our tiny, curvy road can handle this increase in traffic that that will worsen as the church’s population is projected to grow.
Heather
37920
12-B-23-SU
Heather (37920), February 1, 2024 at 7:30 AM
Topside is a very small, curvy residential access point with challenging access from Alcoa Highway. The church diverting even more traffic to an already difficult access point and residential road is not a good idea. John Siever Highway is equipped to support church traffic and is deemed the commercial route. Traffic pattern should remain on designated highway and not be directed through an already challenged residential neighborhood. Thank you for your consideration.
Kari
37920
12-B-23-SU
Kari (37920), February 1, 2024 at 3:43 PM
I am writing to strongly oppose the proposal by Calvary Chapel Church to add an exit onto Topside Road. Topside Rd is a very narrow, two lane curvy road. The church proposed to add an exit a few years back and the proposal was rejected because the curve of the road and trees prevented a clear line of sight to safely turn onto Topside Rd. The road is not intended for heavy traffic, as it only serves the local homes between Alcoa Highway and Maryville Pike. The increased traffic would be detrimental to the residences and cause an increase in the risk of traffic accidents on the road. As a home owner that would be directly affected by this increased safety risk, I strongly urge you to oppose this proposal. I have spoke with several neighbors in the Topside Hills neighborhood and most oppose the proposal, know of only one resident that supports it. Please consider the safety and quality of life concerns of all of the residents that live here over the voices of church members who have little concern for an area that is not their home.
Larry
37920
12-B-23-SU
Larry (37920), February 1, 2024 at 3:59 PM
I am strongly opposed to the addition of an exit from Calvary Chapel Church. I am a long time home owner on Riverwood Drive, directly off of Topside Rd. Topside Rd is a very narrow road that was not designed to withstand heavy traffic. This proposal was submitted previously and was rejected on the basis of safety. I would strongly oppose that it be re-considered, as the road has not been altered on any way. The area of Topside Rd between Alcoa Highway and Maryville Pike is residential area. The additional traffic is not in the best interests of the families living here.
Larry
37920
12-B-23-SU
Larry (37920), February 1, 2024 at 7:14 PM
My wife and I really homeowners on Riverwood Dr, off of Topside Road. I am writing to express my opposition to the proposal of Calvary Chapel Church to add an exit onto Topside Rd. As anyone who has driven down this section of Topside is aware, this is a narrow, curvy two lane road intended for light residential traffic. It would be a detriment to the families living directly on Topside and the adjoining neighborhoods to have added traffic on this road. I strongly urge you to oppose this proposal.
Andy
37920
12-B-23-SU
Andy (37920), February 1, 2024 at 7:55 PM
This is a TERRIBLE idea. It has been a TERRIBLE idea since at least 2017 when first proposed. It was a TERRIBLE idea in 2023 when they recycled this proposal again. The MPC should put an end to the recycled TERRIBLE arguments advanced by the Church and air on the side of public safety by shutting this down once and for all. Nothing has changed. The net negatives are the same. There are no positives that benefit anyone other than the Church. It will result in Increased traffic on a very small, very narrow county road never built to accommodate an exponentially growing church. Topside already shoulders the burden of overflow and detour traffic from Old Knoxville highway and Alcoa highway. Environmental impacts….all negative. Impact to elderly residents who need have lived in the affected areas for decades since before the church existed….all negative. Public safety….all negative. Options for the Church: how about turning right instead of left? UPS does it all the time and it seems to work fine. They are wildly successful. How about hiring off duty KCPD officers to direct traffic following services? Other churches do it all the time. Take Notice: MPC members vote NO on this. Any member of the MPC who votes in favor of this…. WE WILL REMEMBER YOU! Sincerely, an ACTUAL tax payer.
12-B-23-SU
Kip (37920), February 2, 2024 at 8:43 AM
As a resident of Topside Hills just off Topside Road I am writing to oppose the ill-conceived new road that Calvary Church is proposing between John Sevier Highway and Topside Road. It seems we have already visited this issue before and the vast majority of residents have made their voices clear. We do not want this. It may be true that some members of the church have been coming around and using Topside Road but I believe that number pales in comparison to the number that would use Topside once that road is open. We have no stoplights on Topside and no speed bumps. It is already a dangerous little windy road with hazards on both sides such as deep drop offs and telephone poles inches from the pavement. Yet people use it as a cut through already and rarely ever adhere to the speed limit. I've lost count of the number of mailboxes I have seen destroyed over the years. With the current culture of texting and driving, people are more distracted than ever, so the idea to add a cut through there from John Sevier Highway will turn into a nightmare for the residents of Topside Road as the church grows larger and larger and as people learn of this new little time saver. Further I would like to say that I am thankful to the resident that placed this notice in my mailbox because I may not have even known about this were it not for that. And I don't appreciate how this issue seems to try and get snuck past us every few years. Please vote "no" on this.
Madeline
37920
12-B-23-SU
Madeline (37920), February 2, 2024 at 9:46 AM
I am writing to oppose the addition of a new road for Calvary Church on Topside Rd between Aloca Highway and Maryville Pike. I am a resident of the area and drive this section of Topside Rd daily. I have personally witnessed incidents of cars in the ditch, as the road is very narrow and curvy. The addition of more traffic on this road will only increase the number of safety issues. The proximity of the proposed road to the exit of the Topside Hills neighborhood will make turning out of the neighborhood a hazard because of the curve of the road. I would urge you to vote no on this proposal.
Collin
37920
12-B-23-SU
Collin (37920), February 2, 2024 at 4:42 PM
I am a resident of Topside Hills, and writing in regard to the proposed entrance for Calvary Chapel Church along Topside Road. While I understand that the Church is seeking to construct this secondary access point in the name of safety, I disagree that the utilization of a deficient minor collector street is the best way to do so. If the commission were to entertain this access point, I respectfully request that the commission consider this new commercial access as a new commercial development, and require the applicant to bring this road to current ordinance standards. If the goal is for Church patrons to safely traverse to Alcoa Highway, they should bring Topside Road up to current development standards from the proposed point of connection to Alcoa Highway with an adequate 28’ pavement width and sidewalk system. These modifications would be in accordance with Knox County MPC Ordinances, Chapter 54 – Article 54, Sections 54-66(d) and 54-81. I would also request that the traffic study and required mitigation measures be made available for public review before a determination is made.
Sunny
37920
12-B-23-SU
Sunny (37920), December 3, 2023 at 8:38 PM
I am writing in reference to Calvary's request yet again to extend a driveway that exits their property on to Topside Rd.
This is the second time they have requested this and yet nothing has changed as to the layout and design of Topside Rd at that exit point. As a 20 year resident that would be diagonally across the street from the proposed additional driveway exit I understand why they would want it. However, based on the lay of the land, current road traffic, and visibility for both them and our Topside neighbors I beg you to do a traffic study related to this. I cannot understand how their request could possibly be granted based on site view.

12-B-23-SU
Tim (37920), December 4, 2023 at 8:47 AM
As a 17 year resident of Topside Road between Alcoa Highway (129) and Maryville Pike, that has voiced concern in the past about traffic flow, non-residential use by speeders or vehicles too wide and overweight for road conditions, I am "against" the proposed site improvement by the Calvary Chapel to gain access perpendicular to Topside Road for its church going users, no matter if for service or social activities. Calvary Chapel and in particular Brad Bassitt (or affiliates) does NOT inform nor respond to Topside Rd inhabitants in the past about its concerns for expansion and a further need to review future expansion. Attached is additional information. I look to remain informed or to be included with those that need to be present if meetings are held.

View Attachment
https://agenda.knoxplanning.org/attachments/20231204084744.pdf
Robb
37920
12-B-23-SU
Robb (37920), December 7, 2023 at 8:47 AM
See attached pdf
View Attachment
https://agenda.knoxplanning.org/attachments/20231207084702.pdf
Brad
37920
12-B-23-SU
Brad (37920), December 13, 2023 at 2:12 PM
I would like to inform the Planning Commissioners and any surrounding neighbors that we will be hosting a community meeting in January. The purpose of this community meeting is to provide an opportunity for neighbors to get answers to questions or to voice concerns that they may have. We will host the meeting at our church campus (3330 W. Governor John Sevier Highway) in the cafe. We are mailing out postcard invitations to surrounding neighbors with the date and time. Feel free to also reach out to me at the church with any questions or concerns. Call 865-609-1385 and ask for Brad, if I'm not available I will call you back.
Kelly
37920
12-B-23-SU
Kelly (37920), December 16, 2023 at 1:08 AM
As a homeowner in the Riverwood neighborhood right across from the proposed new entry/exit and a member of Calvary Chapel Knoxville I have a unique situation. The current left turn lane out is extremely dangerous. Due to the construction with TDOT, they basically took away the left turn out to get into the median. You can barely fit a small car in that space. I have seen MANY near accidents of people trying to get out and cross 2 lanes of traffic. No one should have to die trying to exit the church so they can head back to Alcoa hwy. The purposed new entrance is right across from my neighborhood. Traffic has already been diverted down our road from the church. It's the safest way for those trying to get to Alcoa hwy. None of the neighbors have had a problem with the excessive amount of TDOT dump truck and construction crew vehicles. But the second the church needs a SAFE exit, everyone wants to be up in arms. Let the church have their safe exit so people can be safe exiting the church. This will not affect the residents of topside whatsoever. My house is close to our entrance and have no problem with letting people get home safe. The church pays taxes and has a right to use THEIR property.