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Owner calls off apartment project amid complaints

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Residents of a Center Grove area neighborhood have gotten their way. An apartment building they worried would bring added traffic and noise won’t be built.

Property owner William Toller planned to build the apartments and garages on land at the southeast corner of Fry Road and State Road 135, which he’s owned for about 10 years. Now, a possible greenhouse project is being considered for the land instead.

Toller had proposed the apartments earlier this year and gotten all the needed approvals. About 50 residents of the nearby Foxmoor neighborhood attended a Greenwood Plan

Commission meeting in March, saying they didn’t want a 24-unit, two-story apartment building as a neighbor. But the project met zoning rules, and the city couldn’t stop it, city planning director Bill Peeples said.

Toller initially said the apartments were needed because some of the closest apartment buildings are as far away as Smith Valley Road. Construction on the apartments was set to begin this month.

But he’s since changed his mind.

“Well, there’s too many people against it. I’m too old to fight it,” he said. “Nobody liked it, so that’s it.”

Instead, Toller said, he has decided to sell the land within the next few weeks. He declined to talk about who the buyer is.

Foxmoor homeowners association president William Woodman said he is happy the apartments won’t be built.

The residents were concerned that they would have apartment dwellers wandering through their neighborhood or watching them in their backyards. They thought their property values would fall, changing the neighborhood where houses sell before for-sale signs even go up. They also questioned whether their gardens on the edge of Toller’s land would be destroyed.

The 1.54-acre lot where the apartments were planned was empty for years.

Woodman hadn’t expected it to be developed at all and was concerned about the possible apartments.

Recent alternative projects he’s heard being considered for the land are better ideas, he said.

“It’s kind of a coin flip, whether it’s one-story office space or a greenhouse,” he said.

The greenhouse project proposal hasn’t been finalized yet, but Garry Ward, owner of nearby McCammon’s Irish Market, said his landlord was negotiating with Toller over possibly buying the land.

Ward opened his store on Treybourne Drive in April and sells fruits, vegetables and live plants. He leases the property and would like to lease Toller’s property to add greenhouse space for selling shrubs and trees, he said.

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