CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — There's a new battle brewing, in a longtime dispute over an apartment complex under construction in Clarksville. Several neighbors close to the construction site have filed complaints with the City of Clarksville, claiming the developer is breaking several city ordinances.
Multiple residents tell NewsChannel 5, the contractor is using illegal construction entrances and working earlier than the city's approved start time. "They continue to violate the city codes and nothing. I’ve called city codes over and over," said Diana Larkins, who lives across the street from the incoming development.
A spokesperson for the city of Clarksville says this just the reality for a city on the rise. He added, they have met with the developer about both complaints and so far haven't issued any fines.
Here's the full statement from Director of Communications Richard Stevens:
City Government has fielded complaints from residents about the multifamily construction near Exit 11. When we get complaints, we address them with appropriate actions.
Clarksville Building & Codes is taking the lead, reviewing the site frequently and meeting with the developer when problems arise. For example, after complaints about the construction workers starting too early, the Building & Codes Director met with the developer and told them to follow the City’s Noise Ordinance, which restricts construction work from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Department also has made unannounced inspections to confirm compliance.
The Clarksville Street Department, which regulates the temporary entrance to the site from SR 76, required the developer to stop using a temporary entrance that was creating traffic and safety problems. SR 76 is a state road controlled by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Newly elected City Councilman Jason Knight says these concerns have merit, and he plans to follow up.
"I’m going to make sure personally that something gets done," said Councilman Knight.
A long battle
This project has been a longstanding battle between the developer and the people who live around it. When a proposal for the large-scale apartment complex was denied by the Montgomery County government a few years back, the City of Clarksville stepped in, annexed the land and approved the zoning request.
Diana Larkins says she's worried about the influx of people, cars and potential pedestrians on that narrow stretch of State Route 76. "That is a dangerous highway to be walking on," she said.
Neighbors on the other side of the development in the Clover Hills Neighborhood are worried that their residential roads will eventually connect to the massive project, bringing lots of cars that won't fit on their street. "They’re concerned about their kids playing outside, you know, walking down the street," said Larkins.
With the permits approved and construction beginning, their options to stop this project are limited to just wishful thinking at this point.
"You kind of just pray for rain because then they can’t work," said Larkins.
Larkins says now she just wants the developer to follow the rules.