The Dickson City Council ignored opposition from neighborhood residents and approved on first reading Monday night a rezoning request to allow a 64-unit apartment complex at the corner of Cowan Road and Beasley Drive. The Gateway Companies of Alabama plan to develop and manage a $5.5 million, 64-unit complex on property currently owned by Phil Hall and will be seeking 10-year tax credits for providing housing subsidized through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. Cowan Road resident Betty Williams, long-time director of the city’s Senior Citizens Center, presented petitions opposing the rezoning request to the council and said there is “100 percent opposition” from residents in the area. Williams said the project will make the neighborhood “less safe” and cause the value of nearby properties to decrease. She said residents would rather see nice condos or townhouses built on the property and asked council members if they would want this kind of project in their neighborhoods. Mitchell Davenport of Gateway said the company is dedicated to the long-term management of the complex and pointed out the request is “down-zoning” the property from its current commercial classification to multi-family residential. “If you take the emotion out of this request, it really makes a lot of sense,” Davenport said. Fourth Ward Councilman Dwight Haynes made a motion to deny the rezoning request, saying Gateway might not get the tax credits and once the property is rezoned, any kind of development could go in, including a mobile home park with Board of Zoning Appeals approval. The motion to deny failed 6-2 with Haynes and Michael Outlaw voting in favor. A motion by Councilman Scott England to approve the request passed 7-1 with only Haynes in opposition. Mayor Don Weiss scheduled a called session of the council for 7 pm Thursday, Jan. 17, for a second and final reading on the rezoning request.