Let Your Concerns Be Known About Signal Mountain Development - And Response

Monday, July 31, 2017

In January of this year, Keith Corporation, owners of the Signal Crossing shopping center on Taft Hwy, purchased a plot of land that extends from behind the shopping center between Cauthen Way and Lancaster Drive and up to the property lines of homes on James Boulevard . It is bordered on three sides by low density residential.

Keith Corporation is now requesting the town change the zoning of this land from low density residential to highway commercial.  At the July Planning Commission meeting, the developer presented the idea of a 40,000 square foot "big box" store with a nice, big parking lot to boot for this location.

If you are concerned about this potential development and the implications of more large commercial buildings in the town of Signal Mountain, please get involved and let your concerns be known to the Signal Mountain Planning Commission and Town Council members.

Keith Corporation has planned a meeting at the Signal Mountain Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. to discuss their plans for this property. This meeting is open to all members of the community if you would like to know more.

With so much of our attention focused on the future of Signal Mountain schools and our water system, this could easily slip by.

Please also be aware that, barring a request to delay, the Planning Commission's vote for this zoning change will take place at their September meeting. 

Wendi Morgan
Signal Mountain 

* * * 

The Keith Corp., whose headquarters are in North Carolina, is a commercial real estate company that builds, manages, leases, sells, etc. only commercial property, no residential. They have developments in 31 states. A couple years ago, Keith Corp. purchased the Signal Crossing shopping center on Taft. Just six months ago, they paid $410,000 for approximately 8.5 acres of land behind the Signal Crossing shopping center they now own.

This acreage is zoned low density residential.  For the Keith Corp. to develop this land, the zoning has to be changed to highway commercial.  While the Planning Commission will make a recommendation, the decision to rezone from LDR to highway commercial will be up to the town council. 

In 2009, the owners of this acreage also attempted to have the zoning changed from LDR to highway commercial. They planned to sell the land, after it was rezoned, for a similar type of development that the Keith Corp. is interested in building . That seemed like a sensible plan - if the property is rezoned, the buyer will close the deal. But that rezone did not happen.

However, the Keith Corp. already bought the parcel and now their $410,000 investment is in the hands of the town council. They seem pretty confident. In the past six years, I count at least 36 businesses that have closed on the mountain. These are businesses in commercial space. I did not count any businesses run out of someone’s home or Mountain Storage Units on Taft. My information comes from property tax records and is available to anyone who wants to look. At present, there are about 12 commercial spaces that are empty. 

So please show up Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. at town hall for more information and e-mail your town council if you want your voice heard. Citizens can also speak at the monthly town council meetings ahead of this vote. 

Claire Griesinger
Signal Mountain

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