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.


Crossville RV Community Development Set To Exceed $44 Million In Housing Values

The Gardens RV Villages, a luxury housing development specializing in sales to retiring RV owners, announced the results of a recent analysis of property values. The survey shows the appraised value of the Tennessee-based community of 170-plus homes located on 60 acres within the city limits of Crossville to be in excess of $32 million. Based upon current averages, the estimated ... (click for more)

The Enclave At East Hamilton To Host 2 Community Meetings

Bassam Issa of the ANT Group announced plans for two additional meetings with members of the East Brainerd community to receive input on the proposed Enclave at East Hamilton project.  He noted that meetings have taken place with residents at Emerald Valley and Windstone neighborhoods as well as at two additional public meetings.  The project under discussion is ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

In a ruling Friday, a Federal Court Judge in Rome agreed with Hutcheson Medical Center and Regions Bank to grant the request for an injunction, effectively stopping the foreclosure efforts of Erlanger Health System against Hutcheson. In stopping the foreclosure set for next Tuesday, the judge held that the public interest in keeping the hospital doors open was “insurmountable.”  ... (click for more)

Mediated Resolution Reached In TVA Kingston Lawsuits

A mediated global resolution has been achieved in 63 lawsuits pending in U.S. District Court involving more than 850 plaintiffs asserting claims against the Tennessee Valley Authority arising from the 2008 ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant. The resolution, outlined in documents submitted Friday to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, comes after nearly two years of ... (click for more)

A Tennessee Transplant's Thoughts On Age And Politics - And Response

I have read several opinions favoring the job performance of Representative Fleischmann as well the apparent disdain that they have for his challenger and his age.  I must disclose that unfortunately, I am unable to cast a vote in the 3rd District Republican primary.  I will however always be a Chattanoogan.  As a result, I feel more engaged in East Tennessee politics ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Trump, Stand Down!

I’ve never been a big fan of Donald Trump. Of his worldy possessions, I believe the only things bigger than his $4 billion bank account are his arrogance and his ego but what he did Friday was shameful. Here we have two Americans in Africa on a mercy mission who have been stricken with the ebola virus and as emergency efforts are in progress to bring them home, Trump -- in his usual ... (click for more)