WAVERLY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A mixed-use public housing proposal in Waverly is facing opposition as the city tries to rebuild the affordable housing units on higher ground after the August 2021 flood.
The city of Waverly passed first reading to rezone an 18-acre wooded plot of land on Cherry Road in between Washington Circle and Sycamore Avenue to high density use in order to rebuild its public housing that flooded out in 2021.
However, some neighbors who live in the area said they don’t want the affordable housing units in their backyards because of the possible increase in traffic and potential loss of the neighborhood’s character.
Dustin Logan’s concerns are different. He had always heard rumors some type of housing would be built on the wooded hill behind his home over the years, but he had not heard about the city’s recent steps to obtain the land until Tuesday. Logan recognized the need for affordable housing, but he hopes the city is prioritizing preventing another flood.
“Because while [the water] didn’t come down this road, it wasn’t far from it,” Logan said. “If [affordable housing] is the biggest issue, then that’s fine, but I would want [the city] to hopefully maybe next year look at doing what they need to do to make sure the floods aren’t going to happen again.”
Waverly Mayor, W.B. Frazier, told News 2 the 62 families who lived in the city’s public housing have been displaced since the flood in August 2021. He said finding the right plot of land on higher ground has been a long process.
“Trying to get out of the valley, which is prone to flooding, trying to get a location where there are ample existing utilities is very difficult,” Frazier said. “Here, you’re either down in the valley with those threats, or you kind of migrate to the hillsides.”
The city will hold a public hearing on the proposal Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. After neighbors have a chance to voice their concerns, elected officials will then vote on the rezoning’s second reading.
Frazier told News 2 if it passes, the land will undergo an environmental study.