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BLACKBERRY RESORT ZONING WAS SUBJECT OF COMMUNITY MEETING

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A community meeting this past Saturday gave residents an opportunity to voice concerns over Blackberry Farm luxury resort’s planned Blackberry Mountain development project in Walland.

Owners of the resort want to open what they’re calling Blackberry Mountain, on some 5,200 acres in Blount County. Of that acreage, operators say, approximately 2,800 acres would remain undisturbed. The site is about half an hour from McGhee Tyson Airport, and 20 minutes from the Blackberry Farm property. The targeted opening date was late 2018, according to the Blackberry Farm website. But reports indicate the opening may be pushed back to sometime in 2019.

At issue is the proposed rezoning of more than 5,000 acres of land.

“The ultimate goal has always been to protect the land for our community and future generations,” said proprietor Mary Celeste Beall in a statement.

Part of the Three Sisters property on Chilhowee Mountain, the development would feature six cabins, 13 cottages and multi-bedroom homes, along with a spa, spin and yoga studios, an “infinity pool,” gymnasium, basketball court, fitness room and fitness classes. It marks the first hotel expansion of Blackberry Farm in 40 years.

The project would also incorporate two on-site restaurants, The Firetower and Three Sisters.

“We are excited to provide new jobs in the community, protect the viewscape in Blount County and increase the positive impact we have on our community,” said Blackberry Farm Executive Vice President Matt Alexander via the company website.

A rezoning resolution is slated for tomorrow (Tuesday, July 10) at the Blount County Commission Agenda Committee meeting.


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