Planning Commission Recommends Approval For Thunder Thornton Riverview Development

Monday, May 14, 2018
Thunder Thornton at the Planning Commission
Thunder Thornton at the Planning Commission

The Planning Commission on Monday recommended approval of a plan by developer John "Thunder" Thornton for five additional homes at his 10-acre Riverview estate.

The okay came though some neighbors had some concerns.

An attorney for some of the neighbors asked for some conditions, including an agreement not to widen the private Rivervista Drive, putting all utilities underground, and putting a bond toward any road repairs brought on by heavy trucks.

Mr. Thornton said he had no plans to widen the road, and he said utilities would be underground. He said he keeps the road up and a road bond was not necessary.

He had requested that some of the new residences have small guest homes on the property, but planning staff said that is not allowed under current Chattanooga rules. Mr. Thornton said the city might re-look at that policy. He said those have been popular in his developments at Jackson Hole, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Mr. Thornton, who is currently developing Jasper Highlands, said he could have put up to 60 homes at the property, but he said he limited it to just five.

He said the new homes will be on about 1.7 acres each and will "greatly enhance the neighborhood."

Charles Albright of Heritage Landing below the site said Mr. Thornton "has not been the best neighbor in the past." He said the residents wanted "total proof" there would not be new water runoff or mud slides.

Mr. Thornton said he had only gotten one complaint from Heritage Landing and had quickly addressed it.

The developer, who acquired the property in 1993 and lives there with his wife, Eileen, called it "a really fabulous piece of property."


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