City Commission votes against proposal to annex land for JCHA complex

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – The Johnson City Commissioners voted unanimously against a proposal to annex a portion of county land into the city for a new low-income housing complex, but the Johnson City Housing Authority said the complex can still happen.

Commissioners heard from dozens of community members during Thursday night’s meeting, who expressed concerns over home values, child safety, road safety and feasibility if proposal to annex and rezone land off of Huffine Road into Johnson City moved forward.

The Johnson City Housing Authority wants to build a 64-unit public housing complex called “Grace Point,” on a 12.89 acre piece of land off of Huffine Road near Street Drive.

The complex plans to serve single mothers and children who have aged out of the foster care system with 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units.

During the meeting, commissioners brought up the lack of sidewalk access for children to the Johnson City Housing Authority’s Executive Director Richard McClain.

After the vote Thursday, McClain told us that the complex can still move forward without the land annexation.

“The annexation is just something we wanted to do, it wasn’t something we’re required to do. I really wanted to see if the city would step up and support us in this project and apparently they are not going to do it,” McClain said.

Ken Huffine, owns the adjacent land and said he hopes the city’s “no” vote sends a message to not build a public housing complex on this property.

“I only hope the Johnson City Housing Authority will receive the same message and realize they made a bad selection on a piece of property,” Ken Huffine said.

McClain said JCHA wanted annexation approval in order for the complex to receive city services.

JCHA told News Channel 11 that they applied for a $10 million in funding from the state. JCHA officials said they will likely hear if they received the funding by June.

 

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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