The East Ridge City Council, on second and final vote, Thursdayl approved rezoning property at 615 Frawley Road from Agricultural and Single Family Residential Districts to RT-1 Residential Townhouse District for a new townhouse development. The council also modified the definition of townhouse from a structure consisting of 4-12 units to allow for two unit buildings.
This was requested by the developer of the Frawley Road property in order to configure the complex with more housing units.
To prevent developments of duplexes from being built, a requirement was added to the ordinance that no more than one third of the structures in any development can have just two units.
Attorney Phil Lawrence representing the owner of the East Ridge Flea Market told the council that his client has spent $100,000 to upgrade the electrical system in the interior of the building he uses and has purchased additional property for parking to resolve problems cited by the city inspectors for safety issues. One requirement remains, that prevents the owner from operating outdoors. It can only be resolved with an amendment provision which removes the necessity of having a building for outdoor vendors. The council agreed to consider the information presented by Mr. Lawrence about changing the ordinance.
The council also voted to rescind the annual permit fee that is charged to all private waste disposal companies that operate in East Ridge. This pertains primarily to commercial properties that do not qualify for city sanitation services. Amanda Miller, city services administrative assistant, told the council that this is not required of any other type of business. Currently the fee is assessed depending on the number of trucks operating in the city and the number of dumpsters and is difficult to monitor. The city only receives around $2,000 each year from these payments, she said, and recommended doing away with the permits.
The application and acceptance of the 2014-2015 aquatic stream cleanup grant was approved. This will provide $1,000 to East Ridge for the River Rescue that will take place in October. The focus will be on cleaning up Spring Creek where trash will be removed. Money from the grant will be used for supplies for the volunteers who do the work.
Traffic problems at two locations in the city were discussed. Councilman Marc Gravitt asked that traffic engineers check the sensor that controls the traffic light coming out of Camp Jordan at Ringgold Road. In the mornings, traffic backs up all the way to Frawley Road despite there being no traffic coming out of Camp Jordan. He also suggested that TDOT change the traffic light at Ringgold Road at Exit 1to turn-right-on-red because this also causes major traffic delays.
Councilman Gravitt lead a discussion about door-to-door solicitations and sales in the city, asking for a requirement that they be permitted and have identification with a city seal hung around their neck and an identifying sign on the sides of cars. The dialogue among the councilmen and city attorney about the ordinance written in 1993 pertaining to this matter came to the conclusion that it is outdated. A decision was made to overhaul the ordinance in its entirety.
A vote was taken on seven appointments to the East Ridge Industrial Development Board.
City Manager Andrew Hyatt also received approval for spending no more than $8,000 for the engraved stone Vietnam Veterans War Memorial to be placed next to the flag pole at city hall in honor of the Vietnam Veterans from East Ridge that lost their lives.
East Ridge resident Mimi Lowrey reported on the city’s community garden referred to as The Salad Patch that she organizes. The ground has been tilled and planting will take place at the end of next week. Volunteers do not always show up to work in the garden she said, but this year people from the Community Kitchen have volunteered to help. A lot of the food that is harvested will then go to the food bank. She also asked the council for permission to place raised beds at land on McBrian Road. She said this location and the elevated gardens would allow senior citizens and those with disabilities to use them because of easy access.