Commission denies rezoning

Knox County Commission passed a motion against rezoning a parcel of land at the intersection of Northshore Drive and Choto Road.

Without the rezoning, Knox County will not allow a proposed office operated by Dr. Kerri Bentley on the property. It voted on the motion during its meeting Monday, May 23.

Arthur Seymour Jr. attorney for Bentley said, as of Wednesday, June 1, neither he nor his client had decided whether to appeal the decision. He said they had 60 days to appeal the decision and would decide within that time.

“I disagree, obviously,” he said regarding the decision. During the commission meeting, as recorded at, he argued the land was not intended to be part of The Mill at Choto subdivision.

Commissioner John Schoonmaker, Fifth District representative, made the motion to deny the sector plan amendment. The motion to deny the amendment passed by one vote. Without the sector plan amendment, the zoning cannot pass.

“Most people moved to that area because it was a rural, residential area, where it was quiet, where there was no commercial activity,” Schoonmaker.

Daniel Overbey, Kerri Bentley’s business partner, said he planned on purchasing the property regardless of whether the zoning changed.

“We signed a contract, and we close this Friday,” he said at the meeting. As of June 1, he has purchased the property.

The proposed clinic is not to be confused with a Tennova Clinic across the street in the Markets at Choto development, which came up in the discussion. Seymour said the proposed clinic was in keeping with the shopping center and Weigel’s Market nearby.

Commissioner Schoonmaker said the Markets at Choto would be a better place for non-residential developments than the lot in question.

“When the markets at Choto was put in, the community agreed that was the only place for non-residential uses to be located on,” Schoonmaker said at the meeting. He said the property for Markets at Choto was not sold out yet, meaning offices and businesses could still located there.

In an interview, he said he was upholding the unwritten agreement against non-residential development by making the motion.

“It’s only about half filled out. So when you have that much property still available, for any kind of business that’s a non-residential type use, it should be located on that property as it was promised to the community 10 years ago,” he said.

Commissioners Schoonmaker, Ed Brantley, Bob Thomas,

Randy Smith, Charles Busler, and Mike Brown voted aye to

the motion to deny the amendment.

Commissioners Samuel McKenzie, Amy Broyles, Jeff Ownby, Brad Anders and David Wright voted against denying the amendment.