In light of the news about the proposed 700+ residential housing plan, I, as an active community member, feel obligated to raise valid questions, share my concerns and make others aware. The area under consideration is right at the corner of Green Pond Road and Hixson Pike.
As I think about this situation, I don't want to jump the gun and say anything prematurely, but numerous red flags are raised. For years, I've emphasized that growth is inevitable, and our small towns must change to some extent as we grow older. However, with all that is being proposed for Soddy Daisy and the surrounding areas, I struggle to identify a single “smart” aspect about this.
Now, let's consider the addition of 700 homes in that area (not even contemplating the additional growth). It presents what I can only describe as a logistical nightmare.
How will the post office respond to rapid development? The post office parking can handle at most five to 10 community members at a time.
Moving on to education concerns, where will these kids go to school? How will we prevent the overcrowding of schools? Where will a new school be built if needed? Does the current infrastructure of Allen Elementary and the surrounding areas support this kind of growth? Now, my favorite question, is how, with three schools on the current SDHS and Daisy Elementary campus, will they respond to this growth? What will the traffic look like in the mornings? Schools like Soddy Elementary are already filling up with students. I fully support keeping the current SDMS building where it is until those in support of moving it can guarantee the infrastructure will support this rapid development for years to come and the current SDMS property will not be sold to the developer with the highest bid.
Shifting to general infrastructure questions, considerations arise, such as whether the current roads can handle this development. Will this dramatically disrupt the current ways of life for Soddy Daisy residents? As you read that, please emphasize the word dramatically because, as I said at the start, some growth is not avoidable.
It is imperative that our elected leaders stop only looking down the road until the end of their current term and start thinking about our future generations.
Turning attention to the protection of small businesses, our small businesses need safeguarding. With residential development comes business development right behind it. We must not let large companies and corporations take away from our current small businesses.
In conclusion, my advice to fellow north Hamilton County residents is to approach topics like this with an open mind but ask questions, hold your officials accountable, and demand transparency throughout this process. Sending emails, making phone calls, and, most importantly, attending meetings go a long way. As always, we have elections every two years; voting is one of the best yet simplest ways to make your voice heard. For far too long, elected officials have promoted Soddy Daisy as your classic small town while it seems they have been simultaneously working hand-in-hand with big developers.
Remember, north Hamilton County is not a playground for big developers.