New homes planned off Snow Hill Road in Hamilton County to start at $500,000

Staff file photo / Ray Redding, left, and Santiago Lugo work to build a new home at the Hampton Cove subdivision on Snow Hill Road.

A Hamilton County landowner is trying to gain the green light for an expansion of a plan to build new single-family homes off Snow Hill Road slated to start at $500,000 each.

Rick Stern, who owns a tract at 7712 Snow Hill Road, is seeking to add 15 more homes to a planned development that already had 42 residences, he said Monday.

If he receives the OK from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission next month and later the county commission, he expects work to start in early summer with lots available in the fall, he said in a telephone interview.

"It will all be the same thing, one whole revised plan," Stern said. "We want these to be high quality, more upper end."

The request comes as property sales in the county jumped to an all-time high last year with national investment firms acquiring major apartment complexes and homebuyers acquiring a record number of houses during 2021.

Stern's proposed site is across from the Hampton on the Lake neighborhood, and all the lots will have views of The Ooltewah Club golf course, he said. Plans are to sell home sites to individuals or high-end builders, Stern said.

Last year, he received the OK from the planning panel and county commission for 42 single-family detached homes. A new design will enable the increased number of residences, Stern said.

At that time, Chattanooga attorney John Anderson, representing 30 property owners in the area, told the planning commission that the more than 40 residences were "a significant increase in density."

He said the green space has been "relied upon" by the neighborhood, adding there was already "significant flooding issues," and he asked the panel to deny the rezoning.

But the planning panel approved the rezoning and a special permit related to the project, which its staff had recommended.

Mike Price of MAP Engineers, who represented the property owner before the panel, said then that some 21 emails were in support of the new homes, while 126 residents signed an online petition favoring the project.

Meanwhile, another proposal near Stern to create 10 new home sites in the gated Hampton Creek neighborhood drew fire last year and was denied by the planning panel.

Stern said he bought The Ooltewah Club about two years ago when it was called The Champions Club. He said the club was in "real trouble" and there was the potential the course would be bought and the land developed.

"I didn't want that to happen," Stern said.

He said millions of dollars have been invested into the course.

"I'm trying to make money back," Stern said. "The money will go back into the golf course."

He said he's hopeful all the new homebuyers will become members of the golf course and support it with their dues.

The Champions Club, which grew out of the former Hampton Creek golf course, originally was developed by Phil Martin and Delwin Huggins. It had a series of owners through its 24-year history, including the late Cleveland, Tennessee, businessman Toby McKenzie, who filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and a couple of banks before Chattanooga entrepreneur Henry Luken acquired the course about a decade ago and later sold it.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.