Community News $8 million development set to go to before city council for rezoning

Community News $8 million development set to go to before city council for rezoning

August 2nd, 2017 by Gabrielle Chevalier in Community Metro

Houses are shown for rent and for sale in St. Elmo on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Twenty-seven single-family residences totaling an estimated $8 million could replace the cement that currently covers the ground along St. Elmo's 54th Street.

John Bailey and John Coffelt of HGH Construction are awaiting the Chattanooga City Council's decision to rezone the former manufacturing property from an M-1 manufacturing zone to R-T/Z residential townhouse zoning.

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission approved the project last month, and board members for the Community Association for Historic St. Elmo have voiced their approval as well.

"Some developers in the past have not been communicative," said Chelsey Breedy-Oyer, president of the CAHSE neighborhood group. " But in this case, HGH Construction has been so responsive. They've come to three meetings and posted a meet-and-greet announcement on the property where they invited the whole neighborhood."

At a recent CAHSE meeting, Breedy-Oyer took an informal vote of all attendees. Ten residents, not including her; she abstained, voted in favor of the development. Three opposed it. Concerns from the opposed ranged from increased density and traffic to stormwater issues.

"But right now it's just a huge cement slab that isn't absorbing any rainwater at all. I think homes will actually improve that," Breedy-Oyer said.

Despite prior resident concern that the zoning change could allow for townhomes, Bailey and Coffelt confirmed all 27 homes will be single-family detached homes.

"We feel like our efforts will bookend St. Elmo toward the south end and complement the historic district and the north end's hard work," Bailey said. " We have no desire to build townhomes."

The city council is expected to vote on the matter Aug. 8.

Email Gabrielle Chevalier at