City Public Works officials told members of the City Council on Tuesday they are recommending lowering the water retention standards for the South Chickamauga Creek basin.
Bill Payne, city engineer, acknowledged that the money from 1.6 inch water retention to one inch will put the city out of compliance with its MS4 permit. However, he said the city can compensate with some additional regulations and stormwater improvement projects.
The City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the issue next Tuesday at 3 p.m.
The South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance wants to keep the 1.6 requirement, while the Home Builders Association wants it lowered.
The city Stormwater Board did not come up with a recommendation either way. At a meeting on "solar eclipse day" in which two of the nine members were absent, a motion either way could not muster the required five votes.
Mr. Payne said the South Chickamauga Creek basin includes 400 square miles. It is one-third of the city with such areas as land west of Missionary Ridge, up to the Enterprise South Industrial Park and stretching almost to the Tennessee River.
He said the change would put the entire city under the same one-inch standard.