published Monday, April 9th, 2012

Chattanooga city planners oppose massive Hixson project

  • photo
    Gregory Vickrey, executive director of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, stands on the bank of the creek as it runs by Boy Scout Road near state Highway 153.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
    enlarge photo

City planners moved to block a proposed $100 million, 190-acre Hixson development this afternoon.

All but three of the 13 Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency’s members present voted to deny the rezoning request, citing concerns over traffic safety, environmental damage and the need for commercial development in the mixed-use plan.

But developer Duane Horton fears planning agency and community members opposed to the $100 million project aren’t looking at the big picture. The land will be developed, he said, either in one coordinated mixed-use development or in a jumble of projects that won’t address the area’s stormwater and traffic problems.

“The issue is not whether the site will be developed,” he said. “It’s how should it be developed.”

Barry Payne, Jon Bell and Kenneth Jordan voted to approve the project near the intersection of Highways 153 and 27.

The Chattanooga City Council will cast the final vote on whether to approve the project at it's May 8th meeting.

For more on this story, including Horton’s arguments in favor of the development, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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