City Council Hears From Both Sides On Proposed Change To Stormwater Regulations In South Chickamauga Creek Basin

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Members of the City Council on Tuesday heard from both sides on the issue of whether water retention standards should be lowered in the South Chickamauga Creek basin.

Realtors and home builders said the strict 1.6-inch requirement is adding a significant cost for home construction.

Sandy Kurtz, longtime leader of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said lowering the rule to one inch would bring further degradation to the stream in the form of erosion and washing in of pollutants and sediment.

Bill Raines, commercial realtor, said a Huntsville developer said he spent $300,000 on stormwater measures on a 26-acre track in his home town and $500,000 on 10 acres in Hamilton County.

He said the standard should be changed "to make it more reasonable," saying the city in 2014 had moved "to the most stringent standard in the U.S."

Attorney Bill Penny, speaking for the Home Builders Association, said changing the water retention level does not mean that flood control measures will not still be in place. He said those are separate sections of the regulations.

Realtor Paula Palmer said she could find only three affordable new homes here, but many north of town and in Cleveland and North Georgia. She said costs affecting developers, including stormwater rules, are a key factor.

Habitat for Humanity officials said strict retention standards with attendant costs harm the non-profit's ability to help poor residents achieve home ownership. 

Engineer Mike Price said the city will still be "environmentally conscious" with the one-inch requirement. He said the county's standard was three-fourths of an inch.

Ms. Kurtz said dropping to the one-inch level for South Chickamauga Creek will put the city out of compliance with its MS4 permit. She said no one has stated what steps will be taken to get it back into compliance.

Paula Wilson said the fact of a lack of affordable homes "is more of a poverty problem." She said employers here don't pay enough.

Dr. Barbara Miller, who was formerly over flood management for TVA, said of steps that will be needed to get the city back into compliance "there has been no mention of what those actions will be, what they will cost, or who will pay for them."

Helen Burns Sharp of Accountability for Taxpayer Money said no reason was given by city officials are pushing for the change.

She said realtors and homebuilders have been "at the table" with the city, but not those opposed to dropping the standard. 


Copies Of Remaining Chattanooga Photo Books Available At Zarzour's Restaurant

Remaining copies of the Chattanooga Photo books are available at Zarzours Restaurant on Rossville Avenue off Main Street. It is near Fire Hall #1. They include the Remarkable Stokes Collection, Railroads In and Around Chattanooga, and Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga.  All were published by  and printed by College Press at Collegedale. The ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ARTERBURN, ALEXIS DANE  6783 SAWTOOTH DRIVE OOLTEWAH, 37363  Age at Arrest: 20 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (ESCAPE) VIOLATION OF PROBATION (SIMPLE DOMESTIC ASSAULT) --- AUSTIN, KEITH LEE  6422 STALLION LANE HARRISON, 37341  Age at Arrest: 27 ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Should Be Problem Solvers Around The City

Re: Roy Exum’s “Stay, Signal Mountain, Stay”  Well this article is something to think about. I think the split could go either way, and Signal Mountain schools would still flourish, as they have done for the past several years. What I'm worried about is why Signal Mountain has not yet had the guts to go be problem solvers at Howard, or Tyner, or Central. Why do ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The School Board Bullies

When the good people of Signal Mountain join with their loved ones to give thanks for many, many blessings on this hallowed Thursday, you can bet the Hamilton County Department of Education will be on nary a list. For the past year a diligent advisory committee has studied the feasibility of forming its own school district and exactly one week prior to Thanksgiving, the misguided ... (click for more)

LSU Hammers Vols 30-10 In Hoke's Debut As Interim Coach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Butch Jones is long gone. But Tennessee’s on-field results Saturday were about the same as they’ve been since Georgia humiliated the Vols 41-0 on Sept. 30. Nationally ranked LSU’s defense effectively stymied Tennessee’s offense most of the game and the Tigers got two rushing touchdowns in a 30-10 SEC victory before an announced crowd of 96,888 at Neyland ... (click for more)

UTC Finishes Tough Season With 10-3 Win Over ETSU

A youthful Tom Arth knew he was facing the biggest coaching challenge of his life back in the spring when he was hired as the next head man for the Chattanooga Mocs football team, but he didn’t know exactly how challenging it would be. It hasn’t been the season that Arth had planned as things didn’t always go as he had hoped, but the best news is that the season finished on a ... (click for more)