Planning Commission Recommends Approval for 4-Story St. Elmo Commercial/Residential Building

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Planning Commission on Monday afternoon approved a four-story commercial/residential project near the Incline Railway in St. Elmo.

A number of residents of the historic suburb had expressed concern about the height of the building near Mojo Burrito on Old Mountain Road.

Paul Teruya, a developer from the Southside, said he had held several meetings with neighbors and made several concessions.

He said the building will include 5,000 square feet of commercial space, 15 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units.

Mr. Teruya called it "the first multi-unit development in St. Elmo in decades."

There was also a request for several single-family homes to the rear, but that had to be delayed because the request had changed from R-1 to RTZ.

Mr. Teruya said the initial request was for six homes and that has been cut to four.

There is a 12-foot rise in elevation from the front of the property to the rear.

One of the foes was Alan Fields, who has long occupied a commercial building next to the site. He said he had dozens of hand-written letters from those who are concerned about the height of the structure.

He said it goes against the land use map for the area, which he said called for one or two stories and a maximum of three.

The president of the St. Elmo neighborhood association Paige Wichman said that the developer and architect have invited residents to participate in a series of meetings about the development.

A man who bought a lot nearby with plans to build a house for his family agreed that clustered rentals would be better.

Mya Abernathy, who said her 100-year-old grandmother has lived all her life in the neighborhood said she was concerned about traffic and blocking of views.


Home Prices And Sales Rise In July

Although low supply and tight credit standards are still hurdles to recovery, prices continue to rise in most local areas. Job growth has strengthened lately, but wage growth has not kept pace with the price gains we have seen.   Buoyed by stable and continuously lower interest rates, affordability is still historically high yet below its all-time peak. Rising inventory ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Covering The Derek Dooley House Auction

On Saturday, as part of my freelance journalism work I do, I had an opportunity to cover the scheduled auction of former Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley’s home in West Knoxville. He has, of course, moved on to Dallas with his family as receivers coach of the Cowboys of the NFL, but his large and historic home bought within his first year at Tennessee for more than $2 million ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)