Dozens of area residents packed into Monday’s Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission meeting to oppose two different developments.
Commission members approved one request for a development on Hixson Marina Road and put off another request that would affect North Chattanooga.
Special use permit, Hixson Marina Road
The commission approved plans for a bed-and-breakfast at 1929 Hixson Marina Road, where developer Jennifer Petty wants to build a two-story, 7,000-square-foot bed-and-breakfast with nine bedrooms.
A group of citizens opposed the plans, citing noise, traffic and density issues. They said the development is a multimillion venue that’s being plopped down in a residential neighborhood.
Although the B&B is all the commission voted on, Petty’s plan also includes a 9,000-square-foot wedding venue, which must be approved by the Hamilton County Board of Zoning Appeals.
The commission ultimately approved the applications with the condition that it must be 100 feet back from any adjacent residential property.
A couple of members of the commission reasoned that the area’s zoning would allow for 40–50 single residential homes, which are allowed under the zoning regulations and would have more of an impact than one development.
The final decision on this issue will come from the County Commission.
Rezoning, 700–800 blocks Franklin Street, North Chattanooga
ALC Holdings’ plan to rezone property on North Chattanooga’s Franklin Street near Ruth Street and put 31 townhomes there has drawn nearly 1,200 signatures in opposition.
Residents showed up to Monday’s meeting to protest the plan, which would change the area from R-1 residential to an R-TZ townhome residential area.
Rocky Chambers, a spokesman for the applicant, requested to defer the commission’s vote for 60 days.
“We had a community meeting last week, and the overwhelming feeling I got is they are not wild about the current layout,” he said. “Today, we’d like to request to defer to keep working with [the neighborhood] and come up with a plan more people will be satisfied with.”
The commission agreed to delay the vote because they said there is room for flexibility in the R-TZ guidelines.
But some residents said there’s nothing that can be done to change their minds.
Area resident Jim Johnson said the developer’s reputation has soured many people, in addition to their worries about overcrowding of roads, poor urban design, density and clear-cutting concerns, and others.
He said via email:
The only thing the developers can do to make this better is to withdraw their zoning change request entirely. There’s nothing that would require R-TZ zoning that would be appropriate for that land. Even if the developer comes up with a plan within R-1 zoning, we’ll still fight based on permitting. There will need to be all the appropriate engineering, stormwater and traffic studies, among others.