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Plans for new business park in Franklin County under fire from area neighbors

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FRANKLIN CO. (WSLS 10) - Plans for a new business park in Franklin County are under fire from area neighbors. The county is drafting blue prints for an industrial park along Route 220. County leaders say it's an effort to help revitalize the economy.

It's the silence and serenity that attracted homeowner Tim Poindexter to a small neighborhood off of Route 220 in Franklin County. But now, his home of 25-years is up for sale because county leaders are looking to develop land near his property.

"Right across the street, it's going to be 50-feet from my front door," commented Poindexter.

Across the street from Poindexter are signs notifying neighbors that a business park is expected to move in. Neighbors say they appreciate the notice, but say it's a little late.

"The county really did not make anybody aware of what they were doing until the project was way into full swing," said Poindexter.

In 2015, the county purchased 550 acres for $11 million to get the park's plans underway. County leaders say the park, which is expected to cost $40 to $50 million to construct, will hold commercial, retail and data centers, and will ultimately create more jobs and revenue.

The county's Economic Development Director Mike Burnette said the community was made aware of its plans in May.

"We're working to try to be good neighbors with those folks the best we can, but at the end of the day it will be a business park," said Burnette. "So, there will be buildings there and traffic."

Burnette said the county is drafting plans for the park to look more like a college campus with walking paths, bike trails and more green spaces to create a friendlier appeal. However, Poindexter is concerned noise, safety and traffic will be an issue.

"We're not going to be able to stop this; we know this," said Poindexter. "But, we want a voice in what's going to move in."

Moving forward, Poindexter told us he plans to attend every public meeting concerning the business park in hopes that he can make a difference.

The business park master plan will be unveiled at Tuesday's County Board of Supervisors' meeting. After, there will be a community input session starting at 6 P.M.