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Sullivan County expected to vote on Island Road rezoning controversy on Tuesday

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New developments on a rezoning controversy News Five has been following in Sullivan County. Demolition Company, Taff and Frye, wants to rezone land on Island Road for their new work site, but some neighbors are outraged about the possible rezoning. Now the issue is going before the Sullivan County Commission for a decision.

Right now this land is zoned as agricultural and it's next to many homes and some farm land, but Taff and Frye wants it rezoned to a plant manufacturing district.

"We're out of room here and we're out of room in Blountville," said John Taff, co-owner of Taff and Frye Company. "We needed about 12 acres along the interstate with visibility and access."

Last month the issue was brought before the Bristol Tennessee Planning Commission. The commission voted in a majority not to recommend the rezoning, and many outraged residents voiced concerns about safety, noise, and decreased home values.

"A lot of us are still using well water," said Wilhelmina Barker, a concerned neighbor at the meeting. "What about our water supply, what about the air we're breathing."

Taff and Frye remove various hazardous materials like asbestos and mold. Taff said some of the chemicals they use for removal would be stored at the site, but he said they take every precaution for safety and this would be no different.

"We store them properly, we don't let them in the run-off system," said Taff. "Mostly we use them on jobs, and when they're finished on jobs we pack then properly and deposit them in the appropriate landfill."

Now the Sullivan County Commissioners have the final say. Mayor Richard Venable said it's uncommon for the county to approve a spot zone or zoning for limited use, but he said they take everything into consideration for a request.

"I'm sure we'll hear from all those interested parties and the county commission has a good record of being consistent in applying our zoning regulations," said Venable.

The county commission is supposed to vote on the rezoning at Tuesday's meeting at 9 a.m.

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