County Funding Requested For Part Of Upgrade Of Walden's Ridge Area Plan By Private Firm

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A private consulting firm is being used to update the Walden's Ridge Area Plan.

County Commissioner Chip Baker said Common Ground Urban Design + Planning was initially contracted to do a study for the town of Walden at a cost of $50,000.

He said that was later expanded for the town of Signal Mountain. He said since the work was already ongoing  that the Signal Mountain cost would be under $50,000.

Commissioner Baker is asking the full County Commission to approve $29,075 so that Common Ground can add the nearby unincorporated area of the county to the study.

Commissioner Randy Fairbanks said he had issues on why the study was not being done by the staff of the Regional Planning Agency and why the extra cost was needed.

Commissioner Baker said the planning staff will oversee the work of Common Ground.

Walden Mayor Lee Davis met with John Bridger of the Regional Planning Agency in 2018 and 2019 and asked RPA to conduct a study for growth and development for Walden, Signal Mountain and the unincorporated part of the county on Walden’s Ridge.

Mayor Davis said, "Because of other priorities RPA said that they could not conduct a study then and really at no time in the foreseeable future. We were looking at a delay of many years until we could get planning help from RPA. Faced with this reality, we stared our own planning. Because of pressures that development is bringing to all areas of Walden’s Ridge, we thought it important that Walden initiate a land use plan and coordinate our efforts with Signal Mountain and the unincorporated part of the county. We have common goals of cohesive orderly growth, safe and reliable roads, and planning for future infrastructure needs like sewage treatment and clean water. The land use plan that Walden has undertaken is the first step. We look forward to having a community wide plan that properly addresses growing concerns. I appreciate help from County Commissioner Chip Baker and Signal Mountain Mayor Charlie Poss as we look to 2022 and beyond for what’s in the best interest of residents of these communities." 


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