The City Council, which is considering possible curbs on steep slope and flood plain development, heard a presentation on the topic from the Regional Planning Agency staff on Tuesday.
Councilman Darrin Ledford said a public hearing will come next. He said the council hears frequent criticism of development on steep hillsides and lowlands, "and I expect a great turnout for the hearing."
The council wants to hear from those concerned about retaining scenic vistas as well as developers, it was stated.
The council was told that currently Chattanooga has few bars to hillside construction. The RPA has been dealing mainly with the issue through placing conditions on specific zoning cases.
It has been "case by case" with no consistent policy or ordinance in place, it was stated.
The RPA said of 469 undeveloped local parcels of five acres or more, 106 involve steep slopes and 152 have portions in the flood plain.
Of land developed here over the past five years, 43 percent were on land with a grade of 20 percent or more.
"All the easy land has been developed," John Bridger, RPA executive director, said.
Officials said different cities handle the issue differently.
Nashville, with a much flatter topography than Chattanooga, declares that parcels with a slope of 25 percent or more are "critical lots" and must be kept as open space.