Thanks For The Compromise

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Last year, I attended several meetings and hearings regarding the potential rezoning of a 190-acre parcel of land on Highway 153 that Scenic Land Company planned to develop. As a board member of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, I joined with many citizens of Hixson to voice our opposition for the development due to concerns over traffic safety, water quality, and community character. My primary concern centered on the protection of North Chickamauga Creek, which runs adjacent to the proposed development.  

We, the opposition, packed the hearings, and when the Council voted to reject the request to rezone, we celebrated a victory and hoped that the future use of the land would reflect the plans and the spirit of the community. While we realized the inevitability of development, we insisted that the city take a careful approach and avoid “rubber stamping” a deleterious project.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2014, I sat in the same chamber at City Hall with a much smaller crowd and watched the council unanimously approve the rezoning of the parcel of land on 153 to open the way for the Scenic Land Company to develop the property. 

Jerry Jones, a former opponent of Scenic Land Company, stood and spoke in favor of the development and the developer, Duane Horton. He pointed out that the Horton had created a new plan that met or exceeded the many conditions that the community put forward to guide the development.   

Since I agree with Mr. Jones, I would like to thank several parties for creating something that is too scarce these days: compromise. Councilmen Chip Henderson, Jerry Mitchell, and Ken Smith organized an advisory group that represented the varied interests of community, the Hixson Community Review Committee. Ellie Wallis, executive director of the NCCC, served as an advocate for North Chickamauga Creek and her fellow residents of Hixson. These folks spent many hours drafting conditions for the developer and discussing how the community would prefer the development to move forward. When presented with the conditions, Duane Horton of Scenic Land Company worked assiduously to produce a plan that adhered to the conditions, and Jack Lonas, the landowner, funded consultations and studies that drastically improved the character of the proposed development. 

Over the period of a year, a contentious debate became a pleasing compromise, but it did not come without a lot of hard work. Thanks to the diligent work of Councilmen Henderson, Mitchell, and Smith, and the Hixson Community Review Committee, the citizens of Hixson gained a strong voice in the debate, and we appreciate that Mr. Lonas and Mr. Horton honored the wishes of their neighbors.  

As noted by the Council, concerns remain over the 153/Dayton Boulevard interchange, and as the development proceeds, the NCCC will continue to monitor the impact on the community and the creek However, the SLC satisfied the conditions for the rezone, and for that, we are grateful. 

Tim Laramore


Somehow It Bothers Me

Somehow it bothers me when Putin is assuming world leadership that America once applied so wisely, when Israel is being showered with HAMAS rockets, when the Ukraine's existence is being threatened, when Christians are being persecuted and killed by Muslim extremist, innocent people lose their lives and rebels boast of shooting down their commercial plane...That our President ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball?

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Mocs Picked First In SoCon Polls

The Chattanooga Mocs football team is the pick of litter in the Southern Conference. Coming off its first league title since 1984, the SoCon coaches and media deemed the Mocs the team to beat in 2014.   “It means we have good players,” Head Coach  Russ Huesman  said. “There is a long way to go from now until late November (when the regular season ends). ... (click for more)

Soddy-Daisy's Wright Commits To MTSU Baseball

Soddy-Daisy’s Andy Wright, a rising senior and dual-threat player, has made a non-binding verbal commitment to play baseball at Middle Tennessee State University. Wright, a pitcher/third baseman, chose the Conference USA Blue Raiders over Belmont, Air Force, Navy, UT-Martin and Carson-Newman. “I’m glad to get this (decision) off my back so I can enjoy my senior year,” Wright ... (click for more)