The Regional Planning Agency recommended denial on Monday the construction of storage units in the 5100 block of Highway 58.
Many community members from the area showed up in opposition. Councilman Russell Gilbert, who represents that part of the city, spoke on behalf of the residents, saying senior citizens made up the majority of the neighborhood where developers proposed to build the storage units.
According to Councilman Gilbert, the community does not want the self-storage building behind where they live. They want to live in peace, and not deal with the potential of flooding the units could create.
One resident, Alonso Noble, said he has lived in that neighborhood for 29 years and that he and his neighbors did not want to endure the eyesore of storage units behind their beloved homes.
“We love our community. We raised our children in our community,” he said.
Developer Ed Cagle said there was a big need on Highway 58 for this type of industrial zone. He assured the mini warehouses would not be visible from the nearby neighborhood because they would be down the hill. Self-storage units would be better than putting in retail shops, Mr. Cagle argued.
At one point during the discussion, Councilman Yusuf Hakeem asked the applicants, “Would you like something like this behind your residence?”
Mr. Cagle said he could plant trees between the units and the neighborhood if need be.
Regardless of his offer, while planning commissioners voted to approve for commercial zoning in that location, they denied the industrial zoning request, thus rejecting the proposed storage units.
Their recommendation will go on to the City Council.
On another topic, the RPA voted to deny the lot split on High Ridge Drive next to the Stringer’s Ridge trail system.
Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Matt McDonald – a local realtor – said he grew up on Battery Place next to the Tennessee Riverwalk. Throughout his life he spoke with many walkers and joggers who said the houses on Battery Place made them feel safe as they entered the scenic path.