Letter: Fort Sanders: Family Friendly?

Why would a family live in Fort Sanders? Three very good reasons: a big house with a yard, blocks from downtown, and zoned to Sequoyah Elementary. Sequoyah teachers, staff, parents, alumni, and donors, thank You for all you do! Look at Zillow.com, local info, Knoxville schools, and compare ratings.

Do you live downtown? Is the novelty of condo living wearing off? Do you want a yard? Do you live in West Knox and are tired of long commutes? How about a bigger house for less money? There are three single-family houses listed in Fort Sanders (37916): 2,200 square feet for $190,000; 3,900 square feet for $385,000; 5,100 square feet for $499,000. These houses are like Transformers. You can live in one part and rent the rest if needed. Elderly parents can live with you and have their own space. If the house has several apartments, simply open it up. Build a privacy fence and enjoy the outdoors.

Our house is a six-bed, four-bath that was four units. We use it as a three-bedroom with guest, toy, and music rooms. One kitchen was turned into a large closet. Another is used as an art room. There are two living rooms, two kitchens, office, a fenced-in yard, and a private parking lot (12 cars on game days). Our last appraisal listed the house as "nonconforming" with an "abnormal functional utility" since it's not college housing. It's been transformed and designed for a growing family. We've been here 17 years and appraisers still don't believe we plan to stay. Why not? Daily questions: "Is that a daycare?" No. "Did I see a school bus?" Yes, curbside at 7:10 a.m. and 3 p.m. "Are those children?" Why yes they are, imagine that!

Yes, we're greatly outnumbered by college kids and the homeless, but we're also blocks away from the World's Fair Park, the river, and Neyland Stadium (Go Vols!). New projects total roughly $100 million for Cumberland Avenue and $150 million for Baptist/riverfront. UT is building a new student center. Walmart and Publix will be open next summer. Sidewalks are being repaired. The proposed bridge from Fort Kid to the World's Fair Park is another $3 million. The current parking lot has people crossing a heavily used railroad track. This is a serious accident waiting to happen. The new bridge will make access much safer and convenient and showcase the Sunsphere and downtown.

Why spend $8,000 or more for private school? Why not move to a better school zone? How many of you parents enjoy driving to and from Lovell Road, Cedar Bluff, Northshore, Oak Ridge Highway, etc. to get to private school? Fort Sanders is zoned to West High School and is blocks from the L&N STEM Academy. How much money and time will this save?

Private schools are great if you can afford them, but if you can't or choose not to spend all your discretionary income on tuition there are other options. Consider being a nonconformist and move to the Fort. Yes, there's sometimes partying, but the loudest sounds are laughter. Most college kids are respectful and they're gone holidays and summer. Think of what you could do with all the money you save. Realtors, you could at least show potential buyers the Fort. Buyers, if you find a house that's not for sale, contact the owner, make an offer.

Where better to enjoy Knoxville's urban wilderness than in the Fort?

Kristie Johnson