published Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Ringgold denies townhouse rezoning


by Beverly Carroll
Audio clip

Terry Crawford

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Ringgold City Councilmen were saved by the law Tuesday when they denied an unpopular rezoning request made by a prominent resident and businessman.

The council unanimously voted down Jack Babb’s request to rezone 10 acres at Whittemore and Guyler streets to RTZ, for townhouses. The current R-1 and C-1 zoning allows residential and commercial uses.

Mr. Babb’s project involved state tax credit financing, which required the townhouses to be rental property.

The city zoning law requires townhouses be owned, Vice Mayor Terry Crawford noted.

“Since our zoning requires owner occupancy, I have to make a motion we turn it down,” he said.

More than a dozen neighbors of the tract proposed for 60 townhouses were at Tuesday night’s meeting to oppose rezoning, citing traffic on small roads and crime.

Floyd Croft, who with his brother Paul, owns seven lots in the area according to the Catoosa County tax map, said he would put his land on the market if the townhomes were allowed.

“It would be government assisted housing,” Mr. Croft said. “We got enough of that moving in, we got drug addicts all around. It will be more of the same.”

Jack Babb’s son, Steve, declined comment after the vote. Realtor Steve Swanson, who represented the Babbs, said they were disappointed.

“We thought it was the highest and best use of the property,” said Mr. Swanson.

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