Walden's Election Is About Planning Well And Making Best Choices

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Some might think, why would anyone on the back of the mountain in Sequatchie County be interested in the Walden Town elections.  I’ve been thinking about that and I know exactly why.  We have been keenly interested ever since we moved here almost a decade ago to this lovely mountain top, to our wooded rural neighborhood.  Even more so since we saw the rezoning notices put up at Lines Orchids at Taft Highway and Timesville Road and cringed at the risk of unfettered, unplanned development.  

We are not new to aggressive development movements, having had experience with them in Germantown, a small community turned overgrown suburb of Memphis. Germantown’s congested, hackneyed current state is the result of strong-armed developer tactics hand in glove with complicit acquiescence by governing groups, and in our case I’m thinking the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission and the two out of three of the Walden Town Board.  

I see nothing wrong with considered and planned development and reasonable growth that fits the site and character of the location.  That is why I’m so interested in the Walden town elections. Even though I live on the back side of this lovely mountain, I will be affected by the commercial blight and all the consequences that will follow.  I'm thinking increasing traffic, road damage, water runoff, environmental degradation, and, not the least, spoilage of the unusual, beautiful character of this mountain top. Getting to the best result for Walden and the mountain top is what this is all about - not some last minute, rushed, fantasy solution to real fiscal problems that leaves a tiresome strip center with gas pumps in its wake.  

It is interesting to recall the convoluted path that the developer and the governing bodies had to take to get to the distorted result we have today.  The developer originally requested rezoning under the commercial rules and withdrew that application only when the Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency would not recommend the change.  It didn't fit. Then, the developer reapplied for zoning under the Village Center rules, asking that all requirements be waived to fit his big square box into a community circle. It still doesn't fit.  What is currently proposed is No Village Center, even for all its 23 conditions in lieu of the six actual requirements that were so blatantly waived.  None of the 23 conditions address the actual requirements. None.

This election is not about good people and bad people. It’s about planning well and making the best choices.  Walden voters have the opportunity to make a careful decision to vote for the better candidate(s), and right now I’m thinking Lee Davis and Lizzy Schmidt. They will work with the entire mountain community toward a well developed plan for growth and appropriate development for Walden and the entire mountain top.  A plan that will both preserve the small town charm of Walden and the natural beauty of the mountain without straining the limits of its rocky, shallow infrastructure, and I’m thinking septic and storm water runoff systems.

Lee Davis has proven his commitment to a thoughtful approach that honors the integrity of the zoning regulations and the character of the community.  Lee has a platform that spells out how he would cooperatively “lead a coordinated effort for Walden, the unincorporated part of the county, and Signal Mountain to discuss infrastructure and growth.” This approach will help bring the community together to create a better, cohesive vision for residential and commercial growth on Walden's Ridge.  Lee Davis’s vision, along with Lizzy Schmidt's thoughtful like-minded approach, will respect the needs of the community while leading it to sustainable growth that we can all be proud of.  There is no reason to settle for anything else.  Think about it.

Sallie Ford
Sequatchie County on Walden's Ridge


Roy Exum: God Bless America!

Roy Exum: Consider The Big Picture

Jim Coppinger Is My Favorite Republican


Not so fast, boys … be easy here and now … Before we whistle up the dogs, throw another split or two on the fire, maybe with a couple of pine knots to give it a glow. I’ve got one last Thanksgiving ... (click for more)

Here we are, two days this side of Thanksgiving, and to read or watch the news, there ain’t a lot of things going on around us where gratitude, and the art of sincere thanks, are most prominent ... (click for more)

County Mayor Coppinger deserves credit for extending the countywide mask mandate. It’s refreshing to see leadership not doing the “most popular thing” but “the right thing to do.” His actions ... (click for more)



Opinion

Roy Exum: God Bless America!

Not so fast, boys … be easy here and now … Before we whistle up the dogs, throw another split or two on the fire, maybe with a couple of pine knots to give it a glow. I’ve got one last Thanksgiving story to tell and, while it’s not exactly long on banquet tables and/or church services where we can still praise our God for the bounties He hath bestowed in a terribly unkind year….or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Consider The Big Picture

Here we are, two days this side of Thanksgiving, and to read or watch the news, there ain’t a lot of things going on around us where gratitude, and the art of sincere thanks, are most prominent in our view. As a matter of fact, it may be that never has it been as lacking. Monday afternoon I watched a video on the news channels that showed New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Tennessee Has 4,404 New COVID Cases, 53 More Deaths

The number of coronavirus cases in Tennessee is 352,376 on Thursday with 4,404 new cases. There have been 53 more deaths from the virus, for a total of 4,519, said state Health Department officials. The state currently has 2,178 people hospitalized from the virus, 5 less than on Wednesday. There have been 312,885 people who have recovered from the virus in Tennessee (89 ... (click for more)

Georgia Has 26 New Coronavirus Deaths, 2,946 New Cases

Georgia state health officials reported on Thursday there have been 26 additional deaths due to the coronavirus. The current total is 8,716. There were 2,946 new cases as that total reached 413,909 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Hospitalizations are at 34,587, up 174 from Wednesday. Here are the numbers by county: Catoosa County: 1,997 cases, up 25; 29 deaths; ... (click for more)

Sports

Dennis Norwood: Thankful For The Memories

Here it is Thanksgiving 2020 and time to reflect on those things for which I am most thankful. With the year we’ve had it has sometimes been tough to even think about giving thanks, but on reflection I believe we will all find people and events we should thank the Lord above for bringing our way. One thing I am grateful for this year are good memories that make me laugh. One ... (click for more)

Cakewalk: UTC Rolls By Lander In Season Opener

The big news from downtown Chattanooga Wednesday afternoon came from McKenzie Arena where a college basketball game was actually played. Yes, it was the season and home opener for the Chattanooga Mocs as they rolled past the Lander Bearcats by a 99-63 final. Bellarmine had been Chattanooga’s original season-opening opponent, but had to cancel because of Covid-19 issues. The ... (click for more)