Residents complain about Wear Farm City Park

Problems said to include noise, littering, trespassing
Jun. 12, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Just a few months after Wear Farm City Park officially opened, complaints from nearby residents are already coming in.

During the public comments portion of Monday evening's City Commission meeting, three residents of High Valley Drive, which borders the northeast side of the park, complained about noise, littering and trespassing related to people visiting the park.

"On the weekends, you can't even go outside anymore if you want any peace of mind," High Valley Drive resident Jim Mason said. "It goes all day long, the yelling and screaming, starting at 6:30 in the morning."

Mason said he is forced to sleep in his garage, the only part of his house that offers a little quiet.

Another resident, Dixie Kyker, said people using the walking trail throw trash in her yard as they go by.

"Cups, cans, you name it. Trash in our yard all the time," Kyker said. "I don't know what you can do about that except maybe put up a wall."

Kyker also said people from the neighborhood are walking through her yard to access the park.

"We've had to put signs up to stop that," she said. "It's a lot of people we don't know, and we see them at 10, 11 at night coming through our yard to go into the park."

Kyker recalled calling the police about a heated discussion taking place in the park around midnight, even though the park closes at 10 p.m.

She also complained about the noise, saying she can't sit out on her porch anymore.

"I'm retired. It would just be nice to have some kind of petition maybe to help with that noise," Kyker said.

Resident Michelle Thomas echoed the complaints about noise and trespassing. She said someone from the city came to the neighborhood to inspect the situation, but the only action taken was putting up a no-trespassing sign.

"Like that's going to do anything," Thomas said. "I'd love to have a wall ... I've already talked to people in our neighborhood, and they don't like it either."

Thomas noted that her husband is sometimes away from home at night.

"I'm scared to death," she said. "I have to put sheets up in my windows because I'm scared someone is looking through."

At the meeting, the commissioners discussed options for immediate alleviation, including chain-link fences with blinders.

"We went out after the meeting to look at some of the temporary solutions we were talking about," Mayor David Wear said in an interview Tuesday. "One is to put up a fence with the material that blocks the view and maybe alleviates some noise."

If that doesn't solve the problem, Wear said, the city will look at other options.

"It might take a couple ideas before we solve it, but the main thing is to make sure they're getting what they need," Wear said. "We just need to work on it."

The city commission met at City Hall. It also approved:

  • An ordinance to rezone parcel E-43.00 of tax map 94C (located at the intersection of North River Road and Jake Thomas Road) from C-6 (mixed-use commercial) to C-2 (tourist commercial), first reading
  • An ordinance to rezone parcels 90.04 and 90.11 of tax map 83 (located at the intersection of Teaster Lane and Jake Thomas Road) from C-4 (planned unit commercial) and C-6 (mixed-use commercial) to C-7 (planned unit and public use development), first reading
  • An ordinance to rezone parcels G-8.00 and G-9.00 of tax map 94F (located on Two View Road) from C-6 (mixed-use commercial) to C-1 (general commercial), first reading
  • An ordinance to set the tax rate for the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year at 20 cents per $100 of all taxable property within the city's corporate limits, first reading
  • An ordinance making and fixing the annual appropriations for the several departments of the city for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2103, and ending June 30, 2014, and to carry forward appropriations for prior year encumbrances, first reading
  • A contract with East Tennessee Development District for providing local planning advisory services for fiscal year 2014
  • A contract with Pugh and Company to audit accounts for the city from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013
  • A bid to purchase salt from Compass Mineral International, North American Salt for the street department
  • A concessionaire contract with Bullfish to provide concession services at LeConte Center
  • A bio-tower pump repair for the wastewater system from Landon Electric Company
  • Appointment of Jeff Dodgen to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission

rhargett@themountainpress.com