Knob Ridge Apartments  is still a sore spot with some neighbors. INSET: Land behind the apartment complex is for sale. (the Herald / Jennifer Brown)

Knob Ridge Apartments is still a sore spot with some neighbors.
INSET: Land behind the apartment complex is for sale. (the Herald / Jennifer Brown)

Nearly eight months after the completion of Knob Ridge Apartments, Seymour residents are still expressing frustration. When the development was announced in the Spring of last year, area property owners were concerned for a number of reasons. Town meetings were filled with residents warning of traffic increases, property value decreases and assorted other complaints.

“I do run regularly up and down the road. The traffic has just increased and that was one of my complaints when they were meeting with the residents and the county,” said Beth Russell. Russell’s property runs along the edge of the back side of the new development. Since Knob Ridge Apartments have been completed, Russell has noticed an increase in vehicle and foot traffic on her property.

“There are people that come on my property all the time. I was having another personal issue and I was told to put up ‘no trespassing’ signs. People walk right past them and come onto my property anyway,” said Russell. Russell added that she expressed these concerns to the County Commission several times but felt as though she was not heard.

“We met with the county commission, we met with the planning commission,” said Patrick Doyle. Doyle was one of several citizens attempting to stop the development in its early stages.

“They were originally zoned R2, which is for apartments. They ended up having it switched back to R1 which is supposed to be single family homes. However, there’s a loophole in the zoning laws for duplexes under R1,” said Doyle.

Knob Ridge Apartments, according to the community’s website, is a series of duplexes. With 24 separate buildings, there are 48 residences, all of which are currently full. When contacted for comment, Knob Ridge was unable to provide an estimate of the number of individuals living on the property. The website also states that Knob Ridge is “a tax credit community that offers affordable living for people with moderate income.” Doyle describes it differently.

“Low income duplexes. They put low income housing in this area,” said Doyle. He went on to describe the affect the development has had on his property.

“I know our house lost about 15% in value immediately. I don’t know how much more that will go down,” said Doyle, who learned of the change in value when he had his home appraised shortly after the development was completed.

Another concern expressed by area residents with the regard to the incoming development was a potential increase in criminal activity. Multiple studies have been conducted on the effect of low income housing on criminal activity, including the Goetz study entitled “There Goes the Neighborhood.” The findings of the majority of these studies appear to indicate the quantity of affordable housing units is the determining factor in whether the development has an effect on area crime. According to a research report released by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, housing units totaling less than 50 appear to have little to no effect on crime.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office stated the development has had 22 calls in to the police since January of this year. These range in type from simple requests for an officer to domestic disturbances. According to Officer Steve Watson, these numbers are not abnormally high.

“I wouldn’t say that this was out of the ordinary. It’s just like the calls we get everywhere else in the county,” said Officer Watson.

The 22 calls only take into consideration activity happening on Missylane Ave itself, the road running through the development, and not the surrounding areas, where residents say they’ve seen an increase in activity.

“We’ve picked up a couple of purses and some money,” said Doyle. “We’ve had a fence broken down where someone decided they didn’t want to walk around so they just broke our fence and walked through our field.”

“I do hear a lot more people at night, up and down the road. I don’t know if they’re in the fields or what. My dog is always barking now. There’s always someone out there,” said Russell. Russell went on to say that she believes the development has plans to continue expanding.

“I had heard there were plans for my house to become the clubhouse, then I heard there were plans to bulldoze my house,” said Russell, adding that these rumors were circulating before the development had been built. There are now signs on the edge of her property advertising lots for sale.

Both Russell and Doyle say they’ve noticed an increase in homes for sale in the area since Knob Ridge Apartments completed construction, but neither of them have plans to leave.

“This is family land. My mother and father live next door and they have to look at it every day. Where are they going to go?” said Doyle. “You’re stuck in your house. Lose money or you don’t make any money on your house. It’s very difficult.”

When contacted, staff at Knob Ridge Apartments refrained from comment. Calls to Huff Management, the company described as the “home office” were not returned.

cut line: Inside the Knob Ridge development. (the Herald/Jennifer Brown)

cut line: Lots for sale at the edge of Beth Russell’s property. (the Herald/Jennifer Brown)

2 Comments

  1. cody wilson says:

    I am a resident of these so called, “problematic” apartments. Me and my family moved here in the spring of this year. I feel the complaints are unjustified were none of the tenants here on the property are singularly disturbing the surrounding home owners, or it would be brought to managements attention. In this article I have found nothing but prejudice comments about the place me and my two children call home. I understand the comments and complaints of more traffic on this road, that is a given when you have over 40 families and their vehicles. Just like officer Watson said in this interview, the police calls are not abnormally high. I understand that the properties and houses around us are very nice and the residence of our neighborhood could not afford certain properties like the ones owned by the people complaining in this article. The land owners complain about property value going down since the apartments were developed, but they want changes to occur to make more “suitable” living for themselves, this does not make since. If you were interested in selling your property, you should have done so, before the apartments broke ground. If your are wanting to stay and live and co-exists communication is key. We are still human beings trying to provide for our families we are not moving here to take over the neighborhood. I know it is hard for some people to see that when some of us are not on the same tax bracket.

  2. Melissa Hendricks says:

    FACTS are facts but YOURS are INCORRECT!!!! You have ZERO proof and made all kinds of assumptions that are incorrect!!!! Mr. Doyle’s home and probably every home in the county have dropped in value since who knows when he last had it appraised!!! It is a BUYERS market right now, not a sellers!!! I live in Knob Ridge and it is ANYTHING but LOW INCOME!!! We do not get discounts on rent based on income, that is what “low income housing” means… Almost all of the families in this development are hard working families that appreciate a great place to live… Some are disabled older people who appreciate the safe, nice home and neighborhood that we live in!!! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply