Variance Board Approves Addition At Battery Place "Sow's Ear"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The City Variance Board on Wednesday approved an addition at an apartment complex at historic Battery Place, though several neighbors objected to further altering the "sow's ear."

Jack McDonald, who lives next door to the complex at 525 Battery Place, said, "It was an is a sow's ear. This project is just making it a bigger sow's ear."

But Joseph V. Martin said owner Dr. Stephen V. Dreskin is converting the apartments into condos and making the building more attractive.

He said there would be the same 10 units and no additional bedrooms, but some 7,000 of new space was needed to be added to make the new floor plan work. The building, which drops down a bluff over 100 feet to near the Tennessee River, already has almost 15,000 square feet.

Mr. McDonald said when he moved to the neighborhood in 1983 there was an old brick home there with a large hole in the roof. He said he was unable to buy the old house, and it was torn down and replaced by the current building.

He said, "It was poorly constructed and is totally out of character with the historic neighborhood."

Darryl Silvey, who has lived at Battery Place for three decades, said, "This monstrosity ought to be bulldozed into the river - except it would pollute the river."

He added, "We are told they are adding 7,000 square feet and there will not be more people there - ha! ha!"

Mary Portera, who lives next door also, also expressed concerns.

Mr. Martin, who was accompanied by designer Happy Baker, said the apartments are now mainly occupied by college students and the new tenants will be "better quality" condo owners.

He said the project had been approved by the Historic Zoning Commission.

He said one neighbor, Jim Kennedy, welcomes the project.

Mr. Martin said, "Frankly, I don't understand the opposition. We are trying to do something extraordinary for the neighborhood."

The request was for a variance on a setback requirement on one end from 25 feet to four feet. It actually is already at 11 feet from the line at Lindsay Street.

The project will add eight feet to the structure on that end and four feet on the west end, which does not need a variance.

The request was approved by a vote of 5-3. Chairman Jim Hyatt was not required there was a majority already.

Jim Bob Wilson made the recommendation for approval, saying he felt it was an upgrading of the property.

He noted that with the area now being an official historic district "this kind of project would never have gotten off the ground in your neighborhood" had that been the case in the early 1980s.


green|spaces Announces Winner In NextGen Homes

green|spaces hosted the NextGen Homes Design Competition Finale on Tuesday. With over 100 people in attendance, teams consisting of architects,engineers and contractors from a 200-mile radius gathered to hear the announcement of the winning design. The top six teams presented their designs to the crowd explaining the elements of the first Net Zero Energy homes to be built in Chattanooga. ... (click for more)

Blind Golf Champion And Cancer Survivor David Meador To Inspire Tennessee Realtors

When David Meador lost his eyesight in a horrific car accident at 18, the setback could have marked the end of a promising life. Instead, through faith and fortitude, Mr. Meador turned that devastating circumstance into the beginning of a remarkable journey of overcoming odds and inspiring others along the way. Mr. Meador—a four-time National Blind Golf champion, successful ... (click for more)

Man Charged With Killing 3-Year-Old Takes Own Life In County Jail

Justin Dale Bradley died in the Hamilton County jail Saturday morning. Notification was received from the Hamilton County 911 Center at   12:50 a.m. ,   regarding an inmate found unresponsive.   Jail personnel found the male inmate unresponsive in his cell and initiated C.P.R. while notifying Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services. ... (click for more)

Democratic Chairman Roy Herron Announces He Will Not Run For 2nd Term

Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron announced Saturday at a meeting of the Tennessee Democratic Party State Executive Committee that he would not be seeking a second term as party chairman. “I have been blessed to serve as chairman these past two years, and I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of the executive committee members, party officials, staff members, and friends ... (click for more)

You’re Right With Lamar

One of Tennessee’s favorite sons, Davy Crockett, coined an oft-used phrase:  “Be always sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Being sure is quite important, but may be difficult in this election cycle. The Democratic nominee campaigning against Lamar Alexander is a man whose radio ads call for “change,” “fair” taxes and more jobs.  Sounds good, huh?   ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Okay … here we go. A number of readers have complained that I haven’t shared any jokes that my friends send to my email address so on a weekend when our Volunteers and Mocs are idle, let’s laugh a little:   I was sitting in a bar one afternoon with an old friend knocking back a few beers when he said, "You know, if we're not careful we'll end up like those two old drunks ... (click for more)