City Council Defers Action On Controversial "Chattanooga Village" For 2 Weeks

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Developer Duane Horton
Developer Duane Horton

The City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday night to defer action for two weeks on the controversial $100 million "Chattanooga Village" project at Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road in Hixson.

Councilman Manny Rico, who cast the only no vote on deferral, had made a motion earlier to deny the rezoning for the 190-acre tract, and Councilman Jack Benson gave a second to deny.

Councilman Benson later said he would approve going ahead with the apartment portion of the requested rezoning now, but developer Duane Horton said he would have to check with landowner Jack Lonas.

Councilman Andrae McGary made the motion to defer and Councilwoman Pam Ladd, who represents the district, seconded. Ms. Ladd said there is strong feeling and "a lot of stress" in the community about the issue on both sides. 

She said, "This has brought a lot of passion and a lot of anxiety."

Developer Duane Horton, with two outside consultants, and resident Ellie Wallis and attorney Joe Conner had debated the issue before an overflow crowd in the City Council chambers.

Consultant Roland Ebert said the new plan for the project saves 100 percent of the hilltop along Highway 153 and over 90 percent along Boy Scout Road. He said the development is low density and protects 67 sloping acres.

Rick Hill said there is a sufficient demand for the 280 apartments, 250,000 square feet of office space and 500,000 square feet of commercial. He said it was "economically viable."

He said it would have a public green and town square along with wide sidewalks and be pedestrian friendly.

Mr. Horton said he had listened to the concerns of residents and made five major concessions. He said he is also willing to get insurance to cover liabilities of development and guarantee "that the hilltop will not be touched."

He said it would bring over 2,000 jobs and more than $2 million in new real estate taxes without cost to government.

City Traffic Engineer John Van Winkle said the traffic study was satisfactory. He said the developer agreed to put in a 300-foot turn lane along Highway 153.

Ms. Wallis said the community had had "very little actual input" on the project. She said she is against "growth simply for the sake of growth."

Attorney Conner, representing the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, said the project is missing a number of factors, including a feasibility study, timelines for development, conservation easements and performance bonds.

He said developer Horton was involved in the nearby Fountains project that he said still has 60 acres undeveloped.     

And he said Mr. Horton was a partner in the failed $100 million Canyon Ridge project on Lookout Mountain that wound up in litigation.

Attorney Conner said the NCCC turned in additional proposed project modifications to the Planning Agency on Friday, but he said he doubts the developer will agree to them.

There are already 25 restrictions on the development.

 

Attorney Joe Conner
Attorney Joe Conner

Chad Cook Found Safe After Going Missing On Walden's Ridge

Rescuers on Wednesday found a Signal Mountain man who had been missing since early Monday morning after going four-wheeling on Walden's Ridge. He was reported in good condition. Walden's Ridge Emergency Services has been assisting the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office searching for the missing person from Hamilton County since 10:30 a.m. Monday. Chad Cook, 38, was last ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BELL, CARRIE LYNN  4277 SOCIAL ROW RD SPRINGFIELD, 45370  Age at Arrest: 34 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (BURGLARY) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (THEFT) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (AGGRAVATED BURGLARY) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (FORGERY) --- BOWMAN, JERISHA NISHELL  ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Catchers & ‘Shaq’

Kids whose parents are active members in the military were special guests of the New York Yankees when they played the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game last Sunday in Tampa. The Yankees had even arranged for taped videos so some of the kids could watch with the rest of the crowd as their parents told how much they missed them on the Jumbotron. Both the kids and the fans ate ... (click for more)

Lindsey Leads Unbeaten Baylor Past Marion County

There are quite a few new names and faces in the lineup for Baylor’s softball team this spring, but the Lady Red Raiders are the two-time Division II state champs, so it’s more a case of reloading than rebuilding. It’s still early in the season and there’s a lot of key games coming up, but the Lady Raiders are clicking on all cylinders at this point and are now 8-0 following ... (click for more)

UTC Athletics Begins Search For New Men's Basketball Coach

The Chattanooga Mocs begin their search for the 20th head coach in the program’s proud history. The previous 19 combined for 1,281 wins, 16 NCAA Tournament appearances (11 as a DI program), one NCAA DI Sweet 16, 11 Southern Conference Regular Season titles, 11 SoCon Tourney crowns and the 1977 NCAA DII Championship.   Coach Matt McCall departs for UMass after two strong ... (click for more)