Cleveland City Council Considers Creating Underprivileged Children's Home

Monday, April 14, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Cleveland resident Stacy Hayes presented a plan to the Cleveland City Council to create a children's home for underprivileged children under 10. He said the property he wants to use, the old McKenzie home, is around 800 feet outside of city limits, meaning it would not have access to city sewer lines.

To make the building useable for approximately 100 people at any given time, his estimates show that 10,000 feet of septic line would have to be installed without access to the city lines.

He asked the council to create an ordinance that would make an exception for tax exempt organizations to use city utilities. 

Mr. Hayes said, "What we want to do is to acquire that property and to make it into an underprivileged children's home. It would be a place where they could have a safe place to live, to stay, to have meals...God has laid it on our heart to make that place."

He also said he would be more than willing to front the cost of connecting the building to city lines, saying, "We are willing to pay for it because the fact is, you can't put a price on a child's welfare...The money is there, we can get it done, but the initial thing is to get on the city's sewer." 

He said, "We want to do something good for these kids and that's the perfect place to do it. That house is going to sit up there and rot if we don't do something with it."

However, several city councilmen had problems creating an ordinance before Mr. Hayes was further along in the process. Currently, his organization, officially called Haven Hill Children's Home, is not yet cleared to be declared a 501(c)3 by state government. The property has also not yet been purchased. 

Councilman Bill Estes said, "We can't zone things on promises. Would it be wise to make this kind of decision when the owner of the property isn't requesting it?"

Councilman Dale Hughes said, " I think you have a noble idea, but I think the bank might need to be the one to make the request." 

Councilman David Mays suggested that Mr. Hayes go ahead and get an auction on that property.

During both the working session and the voting session, a rezoning issue regarding a residential zone off of 56th Street was discussed. Residents of a nearby subdivision, Avenwood, were concerned that the area would be rezoned to allow rental units. 

Residents were worried about the kind of environment this would create. They also expressed concerns about creating more traffic.

One resident, Andrea Lockerby, said, "I'm just going to speak as a mom. I've lived in this neighborhood for seven years...There are lots and lots of children's activities through there, children riding their bikes." She also said trash around the road was already becoming a problem. 

However, the developer of the subdivision also spoke at the meeting. He assured the residents the property he wanted to build would not be marketed as rentals. Instead, he said he was trying to build two-bedroom homes marketed toward retired "empty-nesters."

Right before the issue of rezoning went to a vote, the developer told the City Council he would rather wait, saying he would like to meet with residents first. He also agreed to send the matter back to the Planning Committee for a second look. 

It was also announced that on May 1, tickets will be sold for an event called Downtown Dine Around. Tickets will be $20 and the event will feature each downtown restaurant. People will be able to walk around and try food from those restaurants while also listening to outdoor jazz music.

During the work session, Melissa England from the Boys and Girls Club presented a report from their Positive Action Program, saying it had been very successful. 

Cleveland resident Bryan Turner was also presented to the council because of his promotion to Property Maintenance Official.

An ordinance to create a special zoning district for East Inman Street was also passed.


Sign Up To Get The Latest News, Opinions From Chattanoogan.com In Real Time; Win Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Sign up for our Facebook and Twitter feeds and you will get the  local news in "real time." You will also be entered for a chance to win the complete set of the Chattanooga Photo Books published by Chattanoogan.com. We will give away three sets of The Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga to our new Facebook ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAIR, GENE LAMAR  1400 N CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE APT 8 CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 65 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ----- ANDERSON, SHARI MELISSA  317 LEGGET ROAD SALE CREEK, 37373  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DOMESTIC ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Ghost & The Eclipse

So you don’t believe in ghosts, haints or spirits? And you don’t believe that smack in the middle of this August, it is going to be nighttime in the middle of the day? Then put on your seatbelt and sit next to me … First, the ghost. The 6 th Congressional District in the State of Georgia is in the northern part of Atlanta’s suburbs. It includes Roswell, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody ... (click for more)

Sellout Crowd Treated To Wild Finish As Lookouts Nip Blue Wahoos Saturday, 3-2

With 6,376 fans on hand and the home team behind 2-0 with their final at bat, Chattanooga took advantage of  Pensacola's relief pitcher, Geoff Broussard, to rally for three runs in a walk-off 3-2 win. Broussard was unable to get a single batter out. Dan Rohlfing was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, giving the Chattanooga Lookouts the victory. Alex Perez scored the ... (click for more)

Cleveland High School Selects Joey Knox As Head Wrestling Coach

Cleveland High School has selected Joey Knox as the next head coach for the Blue Raider Wrestling program.  Coach Knox has been with the wrestling program as an assistant since 2013.  During his assistant coaching tenure, the team has secured six Team State Championships, including five individual State Champions and 20 State Medalists.    Cleveland High ... (click for more)