published Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Chattanooga City Council delays zoning

Chattanooga City Hall
Chattanooga City Hall
Meghan Brown


In other business, council members:

• Approved an ordinance including actions by department heads in the city's disciplinary appeals process.

• Approved zoning changes at properties at 501 East 16th St., 515 Spruce St. and 630 East 19th St.

• Approved the appointment of two unarmed officers for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority for special duty.

• Agreed to pay Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. nearly $120,000 for right-of-way and drainage easements on Goodwin Road Extension.

• Heard from Chattanooga Chief Operating Officer Andrew Kean, who reported Fitch Ratings had affirmed the city's AA+ bond rating.

In about 30 minutes Tuesday, the City Council wrapped up a week's worth of Chattanooga business.

With no discussion, the council approved five final read ordinances and six resolutions and voted to defer a vote on another ordinance until next week.

Council members will take a second look at proposed zoning changes on and around the 8600 block of Petty Road.

The ordinance would change the zoning at five properties from R-5 Residential to R-3MD Moderate Density. Developers seek to build three quadraplex buildings on the five lots, which are currently occupied by single-wide mobile homes.

The Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission approved the change, but regional planning agency staff did not because the plan doesn't fit the East Brainerd Corridor Community Plan, according to zoning documents.

Initially, the ordinance was approved, but at the end of Tuesday's meeting, Russell Gilbert moved to have it brought up for another vote next week. That measure passed, with Moses Freeman voting against it and Carol Berz abstaining.

But once that was out of the way, council members heard from a few residents about same-sex benefits.

Local preacher and activist Charles Wysong was asked to sit down at a Sept. 3 meeting when he referred to a proposed same-sex benefit plan as "evil and wicked."

But Tuesday, he kept the floor without issue -- and used softer language.

"This is morally reprehensible to the majority of the people in your districts," Wysong said. "I would ask you to represent them in an honest manner."

His comments were countered by Perrin Lance, whose idea of "the right thing" was much different from Wysong's.

"There are a lot of people who disagree with same-sex marriage benefits, but I think deep down people I've talked to know what the right thing is to do," Lance said.

Contact Louie Brogdon at 423-757-6481 or at

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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