Collegedale Commissioners Referee Stormwater Dispute

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - by Gail Perry

 Collegedale Commissioners held a hearing Monday night in an attempt to resolve a dispute between the city and two longtime residents. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hayes bought their home and six acres in 1978 at 5641 Barrington Country Circle. In 1985 they acquired four acres that back up to the original lot.

In 2010 discussions were broached about the potential for building a world class dressage training facility on the four-acre property and Aug. 9, 2010, Mr. Hayes sent Andrew Morkert, Collegedale’s building inspector, a letter to notify the city that the project would be going forward. In late 2011 land disturbance started. The first structure built was an 80-foot by 200-foot dressage area modeled on a design from Kentucky. There are no issues with this part of the project since the surface is designed with excellent water absorption, officials said. This is already in use.

Plans for a barn were submitted to the building inspector on Jan. 3, 2013, and at that time, a building permit was issued along with a letter from the building inspector giving requirements for the permit. Mr. Morkert modified and added to requirements during the beginning phase of the building construction. However, with all the other changes he requested, he never mentioned the issue of a detention pond for storm water run-off until construction of the barn was nearly complete, it was claimed.

If given notice before the building was begun, the couple said a detention pond could have been planned into the design. However, since the structure is complete, a detention pond would now have to be buried with a substantial cost estimated to be around $50,000.

The barn, which was completed in mid-May, has yet to be used because the building inspector will not issue the owners a certificate of occupation and will not allow electricity to be connected to the structure.

Chris Clem, attorney representing the Hayes couple, contended that when the permit was issued with no mention of a detention pond, that requirement of the storm water ordinance had been waived. Another option that would have eliminated the requirement all together would have been to combine the two adjacent pieces of property into one consisting of 11 acres, which would exempt the necessity for a pond since the larger size lot would fulfill the stormwater specifications. Furthermore, he said, this has never before been applied to construction of a barn, which he referred to a “selective enforcement.”

Commissioner Debbie Baker said that reports show excellent cooperation in all other phases of the building and questioned what brought the water issues to the attention of  the commission, asking if it was because neighbors had complained of water running across their property during heavy rains.

In cross examining Mr. Morkert, attorney Clem asked why he had waited five months before notifying the owners that a detention pond was needed since he had requested other changes. This question yielded the reply of I don’t know.

In the end, a motion was made and passed unanimously, which defers a decision of the appeal until the second meeting in September. Commissioners gave permission to occupy the barn with the stipulation that occupation can be withdrawn if the specified conditions are not met. The intention is to abandon the joint property line to create one large piece of land that will be zoned residential.  This will require the approval of the city’s planning commission. It is expected that engineers from both the development and the city will find a mutual solution to the water issues on the property.

In regular business, the commissioners voted to participate in the TML Risk Management Pool grant program. This $1,500 grant will be a 50 percent match with the city and will be used to buy safety equipment such as steel toe boots and safety vests.

City Manager Ted Rogers, in his financial report, said the city is financially healthy. The city has met all projections of revenue and came in below budgeted expenditures. Mayor John Turner said this exemplifies good stewardship of the city’s money, and that the commissioners are conservative by nature.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADKINS, TRAVIS VAN  2431 BRIDGE CIRCLE CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE --- ANDERSON, NATASHA RENEE  902 NORTH ORCHARD APT A CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting ... (click for more)

Warrant Roundup In Bradley County Nets 80 Arrests

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson said a two-day warrant roundup netted some 80 arrests. He said, "We felt like it was time to clear out a backlog of arrest warrants that had built up over time. These people had warrants with a variety of charges that needed to be dealt with.  "Thanks to the hard work of our Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Fugitive ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Girls Win Second Straight A-AA Track Title

MURFREESBORO – The Signal Mountain Eagles won last year’s Class A-AA state track title by a scant six points, but it wasn’t nearly that close this year. With Camryn Bowman and McKenzie Ethridge both winning two events, the Eagles had a one-point lead following the field events, but ending up scoring 96 points and winning by 24 over runner-up East Nashville. While Signal Mountain ... (click for more)

Baylor To Face GPS Again For D-II State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO – It will be another Baylor-GPS battle for the championship in Division II softball as Baylor advanced with a 10-3 win over St. Benedict while GPS later beat the Lady Eagles by a 2-0 final for the right to face the Lady Red Raiders again. This year’s D-II tournament was similar to last year as Baylor beat GPS on the first day before the Bruisers came back and beat ... (click for more)