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Despite neighbors' worries over more traffic, the building of too many new houses and the loss of trees, a developer on Thursday said he plans to move ahead with a potential $20 million subdivision in the heart of North Chattanooga.

About 25 people showed up at a meeting to voice concerns about plans by developer RTB Holdings to put up 46 single-family houses on a 10-acre tract near Dartmouth Street and Sharon Circle.

"I'm very concerned," said Dan LaGraff, who lives off Sharon, adding the project would drop more traffic on his street.

Marty Brown, who lives on nearby Curve Street, said she's worried about water runoff caused by the development. The site includes a ravine and is said to be one of the largest remaining green spaces in the area.

"It will look like urban sprawl," Brown said.

However, developer Paul Teruya of Greentech Homes LLC, said he paid a lot of money for the site, which already is zoned and platted.

"I'm more than willing to save trees and green space," he said after an hour-long meeting. "But I can't do much in relationship to density."

Rocky Chambers, who works for the developer's engineering firm, said he'll go back to the drawing board and look at saving more trees.

"We might be able to give a little bit," he said.

Gabe Thomas, Greentech's chief executive, said plans are to start work on the craftsman-style homes around the first of the year. He said the homes will sell for between $300,000 and $450,000 each.

Thomas said the two- to three-level houses will be built in phases over two to two-a-half years.

Plans call for putting in a road through the parcel and tying into Sharon Circle, which Thomas said the city is requiring to divert traffic off Dartmouth.

"We're building a nice subdivision in a popular part of town," he said, noting it hopefully will improve home values in the area.

City Councilman Jerry Mitchell said he's concerned about traffic problems caused by the new development.

"The roads are thin and in winter slick," he said.

Mitchell said that while he hates to lose a 10-acre forest, the character of the homes fit the area.

But Beverly Carroll, who lives in the neighborhood, said the subdivision works better for East Brainerd or Ooltewah.

"Even before this, traffic is a problem," she added.

Another neighbor, Carolyn Mitchell, suggested the developer think about giving the property away to the city or another entity, taking a tax break and using the proceeds on other projects.

There was also discussion about the plat, noting it goes back to 1890. Jerry Mitchell said the discussion may be an opportunity to bring North Chattanooga code in alignment with the rest of the city.

Not everyone was opposed to the project. Chad Tyler said he lives on the Southside and has been looking at moving into North Chattanooga. But, he said, there's not a lot of inventory for young families there.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.

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