Chattanooga City Council members on Tuesday night honored two of the city's finest and passed a hotly contested zoning exception involving Petty Road.
The Chattanoooga Fire Department's Capt. Dean Rodgers and Senior Firefighter Kyle Duggan were awarded the city's Life Saving Award for their efforts in an April 1 rescue that saved a child's life.
Fire Chief Lamar Flint said the two went "above and beyond the call of duty" when they charged into a burning building in the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on April 1.
Flint told council members that Rodgers and Duggan arrived at the scene and learned there were two children trapped inside the home. Without hoses, the two entered the building and found the children. One child was treated for injuries, but another perished.
"All the firefighters involved deserve to be commended, and they will be, however there are two who went above and beyond the call of duty," Flint said.
In a 5-4 split, the council also approved a contentious zoning exception for a proposed development on the 8600 block of Petty Road.
Speaking for his fellow applicants, developer Glen Meadows asked commissioners to allow him to build a 38-unit planned urban development of quadplexes on the property, which now is home to mobile homes and a farmhouse.
Meadows and his partners, Joseph Ingram and Brett Sexton, plan to build the units with retirement-aged residents in mind, Meadows told council members.
Several neighbors opposed to the development voiced their concerns about traffic on Petty and adjacent roads, and Councilman Chris Anderson was inclined to agree with them.
"I don't think when a neighborhood is overwhelmingly opposed to a special exemption that we should have the right to tell them they are wrong," Anderson said.
Still, the council approved the measure. Meadows said his other option, which fit under current zoning, would be to place duplexes on the property. That would yield more units and more traffic, he said.
Council members Larry Grohn, Chip Henderson, Ken Smith, Russell Gilbert and Yusuf Hakeem voted in favor of the exception. Anderson, Carol Berz, Moses Freeman and Jerry Mitchell voted against it.
Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at 423-757-6481 or firstname.lastname@example.org.