35-Lot Planned Unit Development Across From Hiawatha Estates Gets Planning Commission OK

  • Monday, May 13, 2024

A 35-unit Planned Unit Development on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road across from Hiawatha Estates was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on Monday afternoon.

The project is on 7.7 acres.

Michael Harney of Hiawatha Estates said there should be a 25-foot setback from wetlands on the site. Allen Jones, representing the developer, said there have been consultations with environmental experts concerning the wetlands on "whether to mitigate them or leave them on site."

A geologist who lives at Hiawatha Estates said the site contains sinkholes. He said buyers need to be advised of the sinkhole situation.

The Planning Agency staff recommended that a traffic study be a condition of the rezoning. Mr. Harney said there was already "excessive traffic" on the road.

Mr. Jones asked that the traffic study not be required, saying "we already know what it's going to say." He said the money spent on the study could be better used to pay for a decel lane into the development.

County Public Works Administrator Todd Leamon asked that the traffic study be kept in place, saying having a decel lane is not always the answer.

Mike Price, who also, like Mr. Jones, is paid to shepherd zoning cases through the process, argued against requiring the study. He said the current standard is not to require a traffic study unless the development has at least 50 homes.

Mr. Leamon said, "I don't care how many homes are there," he said the study would be helpful for determining the requirement for that particular development.

The Planning Commission included the traffic study requirement.

Mr. Jones said, without a PUD, there could be 37 lots on the property. He said the PUD would allow the developer to cluster the development, have more flexibility on lot sizes and provide 30 percent open space, including stormwater basins.


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