Planning board denies request for Ooltewah homeless development

Rev. Barry Kidwell and his daughter, Kathleen, feed rabbits at the farm owned by Mustard Tree Ministries. Kidwell is seeking a planned unit development to build 32 tiny houses to rent for his homeless ministry.

City and county planners today voted to deny a request by Mustard Tree Ministries to build a community of tiny homes on an Ooltewah farm.

By a 13-2 vote, the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission recommended against the proposed planned unit development that would add 32 tiny homes on a 16.8-acre farm. The homeless ministry wanted to use the site of the former Lighthouse United Methodist Church to provide affordable housing near a working farm operated by Mustard Tree.

More than 1,800 area residents signed petitions against the project.