Collegedale Commission Approves Zoning Change, Amends Parking Lot Standards

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - by Gail Perry

Collegedale commissioners approved a zoning change for property near the corner of Ooltewah Ringgold Road and Titus Lane that was annexed by the city in March 2013. At the commission meeting Monday night, commissioners were told that when property is annexed, a zoning designation must be assigned to it. The majority of the property in question was assigned C-2 when acquired by Collegedale. Upon recommendation of the city staff and concerns by neighbors of the location, the commission changed the designation to R-2 in order to maintain the conditions it had at the time of annexation. This will allow the owners to retain the previous uses of the land.

Also, upon staff recommendation, parking lot standards were amended. The sizes required for a parking space in Collegedale was larger than the size specified by surrounding communities. Reducing the size was approved two years ago, but there was confusion because a mixture of old and new standards have been in use. It was unanimously approved to change the space required from 10 by 20 feet, to 9 by 18 feet.

Director of Operations of the Collegedale Municipal Airport, Chris Swain received approval to purchase a “finish mower” for airport maintenance. This equipment that will attach to an existing tractor will be 100 percent state funded. Approval was given to accept the low bid of $13,700.

Looking toward future development, Vice Mayor Tim Johnson asked the other commissioners to move forward with the creation of a city hotel tax. There has been interest shown for building a hotel at the “Collegedale Station” development. It was decided that discussions concerning the tax will take place at commission meetings in the near future.

It was also determined that the study of constructing a sidewalk wanted by residents of the Wellesley Drive neighborhood would be folded into the larger Collegedale land use plan. This is in the process of being developed by a task force comprised of members from the Collegedale planning committee, the city commissioners and other interested parties. Commissioner Larry Hanson has notified the Wellesley neighborhood association that they should choose a representative to be included in this committee.

Commissioner Hanson brought forward a discussion of “invocation” versus “moment of silence” that takes place at the beginning of each commission meeting. A decision was made, that the choice would be left to the person who is doing the invocation who would be able to offer a prayer, invite those present to pray in silence or simply observe a private moment. Mayor John Turner told the commissioners that he would choose and notify the person that he would ask, several days in advance of the commission meeting in order for them to have time to think about it

An old trailer previously located at the trailer court at the corner of College Terrace and Moore Road has been moved, said Commissioner Katie Lamb, but a lot of trash remains as well as another old, burned-out trailer. She asked if the city could require the owner to clean up the property. Building codes and safety officer, Andrew Morkert responded that a lawsuit is already pending about the condition of the property, and there are plans to clear the land. 

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