KINGSPORT — The reason Kingsport is looking to annex 255 acres of Warriors Path State Park is to reach a 25-acre parcel off Fall Creek Road where developers hope to build a 140-home subdivision.
Sullivan County residents Kenneth and Anita Bates, who live in the Rock Springs community, have requested the city annex a 25-acre parcel south of Fall Creek Road. The development is being called Chase Meadows and could contain as many as 140 homes.
Kingsport’s planning department is working through the request, sending it to various city departments for cost estimates if the annexation were to occur.
Kingsport planning manager Alan Webb said the best way for the city limits to reach the development would be for Kingsport to annex 255 acres of Warriors Path State Park, which is adjacent to Cooks Valley, and the 5,890 feet of Fall Creek Road that leads to the proposed subdivision.
If Kingsport were to go down Fall Creek Road from Fort Henry Drive, the annexation would create a doughnut hole — property completely surrounded by the city limits — which is against state law. Kingsport is under a moratorium until 2010 to not annex certain property in Colonial Heights. Some property along Fall Creek Road lies within the moratorium area.
Webb said the proposed annexation is an easier way of reaching the development without creating any conflicts in the Colonial Heights area.
“Why stir up something when you can avoid it by just going across Cooks Valley, which is adjacent to Warriors Path State Park?” Webb said. “We don’t want to give these people any concern. If we annex a road, and they’re all adjacent to that road, they’ll think we’re setting up to annex them. We’re not.
“All we’re trying to do is facilitate that development, which is not adjacent to the park.”
Webb said the city is not actively pursuing any neighborhoods along Fall Creek Road, and any consideration to annex the rest of Warriors Path State Park — being called phase two — would likely not take place until 2010 — when the Colonial Heights moratorium ends.
“We looked at all kinds of different scenarios, and this is actually the least intrusive to meet what we want to do, to meet the developer’s needs and not disturb the people,” Webb said.
Reached by phone on Tuesday, Bates said he and his wife Anita have formed Chase Meadows LLC and hope to build about 140 homes in the development — single family and maybe some duplexes. Bates said the homes would be 1,600 to 2,000 square feet and range in price from $200,000 to $250,000.
Some of the reasons Bates cites for wanting the development to be in the city include the city’s materials agreement, the ability to have smaller lots, and the existing sewer line that runs down Fall Creek Road.
Bates, whose home is slated to be annexed by the city in 2010, owned 16 Little Caesar’s restaurants in the Tri-Cities region for 17 years. Bates said he sold the restaurants off in December, and Chase Meadows is their first housing development.
“The opportunity came along for one buyer to buy them, and we felt like it was a good deal for us and for them, so we moved forward with that,” Bates said. “We’re doing our preliminary stuff now and we’re waiting on the city. The layout (of the development) is determined by whether we’re in the city or not, and we hope to (begin construction) by midwinter if we get approval before the end of the year.”