Just two people representing the town of Walden, and affecting residents of the town of Signal Mountain, and unincorporated Hamilton County residents on Signal Mountain, have made an ill-informed decision which will affect this entire mountain-top community for years to come: build a large box-store for grocery use with accompanying gas station, commercial buildings and parking right on Taft Highway. The people are Walden's mayor and an alderman.
Hamilton County urban planners recommended a store-size for grocery use of about half the size to the one being currently planned (44,000 square feet just for the grocery store. That's close to twice the size of Pruett's Market on Signal).
There is vigorous opposition to the project -- a petition has been signed by over 1,200 residents in opposition to this development. We in the opposition are not necessarily anti-development - we're just pro-land-use planning.
What is the rush to create this development? There is now doubt as to how this development will transport its sewage off the property: it's not known if the land will perc: if not septic, how exactly would they build a piping system off the mountain? Would that be all the way to Moccasin Bend?
And not to be overlooked, the development is planned upon a coal seam with known concentrations of arsenic.
Why not take the time to create a sustainable land-use plan which can consider and figure out issues of waste disposal, security and general environmental impact. Give the surrounding community time to comment on such a plan.
Everybody welcomes some tax relief from commercial development, but let's not ruin our area's beautiful rural character in the process.