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


The Real Parking Violation

Yesterday, March 27, I parked in a designated parking space on Broad Street, just in front of the Read House. I inserted 20 cents into a parking permit machine, and in return received a receipt that indicated I had 16 minutes in that space. My time was to expire at 3:39 p.m. I placed my receipt face up on the dash, grabbed my daughter’s hand and crossed the street.   About ... (click for more)

David Carroll: The Truth About The $200 Lowe’s Coupon, And That Poor Bloody Dog

If you’re on Facebook, you see all kinds of posts: birthdays, baby pictures, get-well wishes, pets, and jokes, to name a few.  Facebook is a great place to re-connect with friends, and stay in touch with relatives. There is a downside, however.  Unfortunately, those same scammers who once ripped you off in person or by mail, can now do it online.  Facebook gives ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Sunday Morning Blaze

A Chattanooga family was getting ready for church Sunday morning when they heard a loud pop on the back side of the house. The pop they heard was apparently a window busting from intense flames on the outside of the house. Larry Erskine, his wife Nicole, and their two-year-old daughter got out of the house without injury and called 911.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received ... (click for more)

Firefighters Respond To 2 Kitchen Fires

Chattanooga firefighters responded to two kitchen fires within the past 24 hours. The first one occurred Saturday morning at 3116 15th Ave.  Captain Joey Smith with Engine 5 said the firefighters were able to contain the fire to the kitchen area. The lone occupant got out of the house safely. The dollar loss was estimated at $15,000. The cause of the fire was ruled accidental, ... (click for more)

Lady Vols Headed To Elite 8 With 73-69 OT Win

For the 27th time Tennessee is headed back to the Elite Eight. The second-seeded Lady Vols had an epic rally to defeat upstart #11 seed Gonzaga, playing two miles from its campus, 73-69 in overtime, at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday  night. Tennessee (30-5) will take on No. 1 seed Maryland (33-2) in the Elite Eight for a chance to reach their 19th Final ... (click for more)

Grissom Rolls Past Boyd-Buchanan For Pounder Classic Title

Virgil L. Grissom High’s baseball did accomplished exactly what it wanted to do in Chattanooga this weekend. The hard-charging Tigers rolled past Boyd-Buchanan, 9-3, Saturday night before a good – and cold -- crowd and captured the Pounder Classic baseball tournament title in impressive fashion. On a night when the wind chill factor hit 36 in the sixth inning, Grissom ... (click for more)