City expected to reject land purchase

Gary B. Gray • Jan 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM

The City Commission is expected tonight to officially turn down the approximately $151,000 asking price for 65 acres of land owned by General Shale Brick Inc.

Johnson City has a 1992 agreement with the company which not only gave the city land on which to host Iris Glen Environmental Center but also the option to buy this additional property on Woodland Road that’s being auctioned off by the company.

When asked a few months ago, City Manager Pete Peterson said the city was not interested in the property. He has not changed his mind.

“We’re going to decline,” he said. “There’s at least 17 more years of life at Iris Glen right now and there’s room to expand. About the only thing it would be good for is landfill.”

Public Works Director Phil Pindzola said the city does have the right of first refusal but likely will pass on the offer.

“We got involved with Iris Glen, and this was part of the agreement,” Pindzola said. “But I believe the city will say no to this and that will have to take place officially at the City Commission meeting.”

Commissioners also will consider approval of a concept plan from the WODA Group LLC for the Pennington Crossing senior housing development located at the end of Rocky Top Road. The proposed single-story, 42-unit multi-family residential development is located on just more than 7 acres.

The property, zoned RP-3, Planned Residential District, was annexed into the city in June 2000 as the Leonardville Subdivision Annexation. The Planning Commission approved the concept plan on Dec. 13 by a 7-0 vote.

Three annexations also are on the agenda, and each will receive a first reading.

The first is the city-initiated annexation of properties known as the Masengill Annexation in which the city wants to zone about 64 acres along Bristol Highway R-2 (Low Density Residential) and PB (Planned Business). This annexation will provide services for proposed residential and commercial development in Sullivan County.

The second is the annexation of about 2.7 acres known as the Piney Flats IV Annexation, which the city wants to zone B-4 (Planned Arterial Business). This is a city-initiated annexation of properties along the Bristol Highway and Allison Road in Sullivan County.

Finally, the city is seeking to annex what is known as the Highland Ridge Phase 8 Annexation and to zone the 34.59-acre parcel RP-2 (Planned Residential). The property borders the most northerly corner of property owned by Washington County Mayor Dan Eldridge and includes property located along Knob Creek Road.

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