Developer Delays 4th And Market Rezoning Case Until January

Monday, November 12, 2012 - by Gail Perry

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission at a meeting Monday afternoon was prepared to rezone property at the corner of Fourth and Market Street to C-3 (General Business Commercial district) from the current zoning status of M-1(Industrial). The Hutton Company, a local development and construction company, has requested the change in order to convert the existing four-story, 60,000-square-foot building at 329 Market St. into a complex housing new office, retail and restaurant space.

Jeff Smith, representing the Hutton Company, told the commissioners that some changes to the original plans were needed in order to make the first floor work and so that the development would “fit neatly into the C-3 zoning.” He said it would be better to present specific ideas that conform to the requirements rather than to come back to request changes at a later date. He requested a deferral until the planning meeting in January.

The Chattanooga City Council is considering a moratorium on R-2 zoning which allows duplex housing, said City Councilwoman Carol Berz. She also said that the Regional Planning Agency has a plan for converting duplexes into single-family structures. She represents the Hilltop neighborhood in Brainerd and joined a crowd of around 30 residents at the planning meeting to request the denial of a request to allow a duplex in the neighborhood.

In the 1970s a duplex was built at 110 Gardner St. A zoning change was made in 1989 that removed that classification from the Single Family (R-1) area that lies between Belvoir Avenue and Germantown Road just off Brainerd Road. R-2 zoning had been grandfathered in until that status was lost after being vacant 100 days. It then reverted to R-1. The building has been vacant for the last four years until it was purchased at a HUD auction in October. The new owner requested that the board restore the original R-2 zoning.

A spokesman for the Hilltop neighborhood who spoke on behalf of all the residents told the board that despite the difficulty of doing so in the area, they have succeeded in attracting professional residents without the problems that surrounding districts have with drugs and gangs. A lot of that is attributed to the fact that there are no duplexes or rentals, it was stated. He presented a petition signed by 100 people that agree it would be better to have the building be vacant or for it to be converted to a single-family residence. He contended this would be feasible because of the low price that had been paid for the property.

Councilwoman Berz said there was no doubt in her mind that the request should be denied. The planners agreed, saying that zoning is a matter of public record and when the property was last bought, the zoning was for single-family residential. The board said the purchaser should have been responsible for knowing what they were buying, and voted unanimously to deny a zoning change.

In other business, the planning commission approved the staff recommendations to rezone property at 3906 10th Ave. from R-2 to Manufacturing Zone (M-1) with the condition there is no outdoor storage. This will be used as a storage facility and workshop for an electrical contracting business.

Two tracts on the 6400 block of Old Hixson Pike were given the approval to be joined and then sub-divided into three building lots for commercial business with frontage on Old Hixson Pike and a large lot behind the other three, which will be used for construction of a city fire hall. The North River Development plan recommends mixed commercial use for this area.

Three adjoining lots, 7329, 7331 and 7335 McCutcheon Road and 2405 Gunbarrel Road, were given the zoning change from R-1 to MXU (mixed use), for an office development. This was granted with conditions. The developer has agreed to give the city the right-of-way for road construction. Construction will be allowed for the development, but road widening must be completed to the intersection at McCutcheon Road before a certificate of occupation will be granted. A 20-foot landscaped buffer on Gunbarrel Road must be in place to make the transition from commercial to residential which is on the opposite side of the street. Board member Jack Benson stated that this property referred to as “the Triangle Disaster” has been controversial in the past and he said since there is no opposition to the current proposal, it speaks well for the developer, Ken Defoor.

Yerbey Concrete Construction was granted a rezoning request for property at 4121, 4123 and 4215 Shallowford Road to M-3 (Warehouse/Wholesale District). This designation is for warehouses with office space, to be used for distribution. It will be a speculative project.

Bobby Keyes owns property directly adjacent to Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. He was granted zoning that will allow parking and warehouse space for temporary employees at the plant that work during bad weather. Another portion of the property was zoned C-1 for a travel trailer / RV park for these workers.

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