Proposed new North Chattanooga developments continue to draw fire from residents in the area as a planning panel on Monday turned down one project but approved another.
GreenTech Homes had initially proposed 31 townhomes on a vacant tract off Franklin Street, but it sought to withdraw that plan in favor of one to put up 24 single-family detached homes.
Chris Anderson of GreenTech told the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission that the development group sought a delay of 60 days, saying the company wanted to meet with area residents to discuss the new proposal for the 700-800 block of Franklin.
"We want to do 100 percent single-family detached [homes]," he said. The Regional Planning Agency staff had recommended against rezoning the site from R-1 residential to R-T/Z Zone residential for the townhouse plan.
Anderson said GreenTech hoped to meet later this month with neighborhood residents to discuss the new single-family home plan and gain community feedback.
However, Ralph Decicco, who lives on Franklin Street, said the neighborhood was opposed to changing zoning to accommodate development, noting the 2.7-acre tract is too low.
Also, he said, the road is too narrow and would need a lot of improvement.
Garnet Chapin of the Northside-Cherokee Neighborhood Association also spoke against changing the zoning for the property. He said that group supports leaving the tract as R-1.
Barry Snyder, who has relatives in the neighborhood, said the infrastructure in the area wouldn't support development.
"You've got to nip this now," he said.
The panel refused to delay a vote on the rezoning request and turned it down, though a proposal on the parcel could still go before the City Council for its consideration on April 10.
Anderson said after the vote that GreenTech will consider its options moving ahead. He said he expected the company still plans to eventually build on the site.
Meanwhile, not far away, Chattanooga developer Ronnie Rothwell proposed placing six single-family dwellings on a vacant 0.69-acre tract on the 500 block of May Street. He sought a rezoning from R-1 residential to form-based code E-RA-3 to permit the building of the homes.
The Planning Commission staff said that while single-family detached homes are compatible with adjoining land uses, a proposed reduced lot size and lot frontage isn't. The staff added that the rezoning which was sought allows "more intense uses." It recommended another zoning that permits single-family dwellings only.
Rothwell said he only sought what was similar to uses nearby.
"It will be good for the neighborhood to have the same zone in that whole section," he said.
The pastor and a member of a nearby Baptist church, which is the landowner, also spoke in favor of the rezoning.
Chapin, of the neighborhood association, told the planning panel that it is against three-story buildings on the May Street site, but that it supports two-level structures and the staff recommendation.
Franz Cook, who lives in the area, said he, too, thought three-story buildings are out of character and he worried about increasing traffic in the area.
"There should be a moratorium over there," he said.
The planning panel approved zoning that would permit the project to proceed, but only enable two-level buildings.
That recommendation, too, must gain City Council approval next month.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318.