KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Planning Department has created a draft set of rules and guidelines for the city’s new Professional Housing Stimulus Program, with some changes and additions from the initial idea pitched to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen back in October.
For the past two months, Kingsport officials have been working on a plan to address the apparent lack of high end housing in the Model City. The issue came to the forefront following a Times-News story that included a comment about how many relocated Eastman Chemical Co. employees were choosing to live outside the city limits.
Some members of the BMA pointed out that Kingsport does not have as many new homes in the $500,000 range as Johnson City, that something needs to be done to address the disparity, especially given that Eastman plans to add 300 well-paying jobs to its rolls over the next seven years.
The BMA authorized City Manager John Campbell to craft an incentive program and the initial idea pitched to city leaders was to create a $600,000 fund with developers receiving up to $200,000 in assistance for street and sidewalk construction in new subdivisions with at least 16 lots.
The subdivisions had to include houses with a price point of at least $400,000 and the average price per neighborhood being $450,000. Unless renewed by the BMA, the program would sunset June 1.
Planning staff have met with local developers, home builders and bankers and have created a draft set of rules for the new program, though slightly different from the initial idea.
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