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Staff photo by Mike Pare / Up to 17 new housing units are planned for a North Chattanooga tract at North Market and Peak streets.

What's next

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Monday at the County Courthouse to consider rezoning requests.

North Chattanooga continues to buzz with more planned residential and commercial building as developers seek new zoning to move projects ahead.

City planners will hear a pair of North Chattanooga cases when they meet next week, while another developer is getting ready to put up 70 new apartments off Cherokee Boulevard.

Ethan Collier of Collier Construction said plans are to seek rezoning of a tract at North Market and Peak streets to permit the company to continue building on a vacant parcel and eventually put up 15 to 17 new residential units.

Single-family detached units will go up on Peak and townhouses on North Market, he said. The units will range in price from the low- to mid-$400,000, Collier said.

Also in North Chattanooga, an owner wants new zoning from urban edge residential multi-unit to urban edge commercial mixed-use for property at West Bell Avenue and Black Street.

Owner Vernon Judge said he hopes to sell the property, and there's a lot of interest.

"I've got people now waiting," he said, though he didn't know of a specific project linked to a potential buyer.

In addition, Chattanooga developer John Wise said he's looking at putting 70 new apartments on a Cherokee Boulevard parcel next to Mike's Hole in the Wall bar.

He said that project likely will have ground-floor commercial space with apartments above it in a multi- story development.

The planned new construction comes as some worry North Chattanooga is becoming over-built amid an estimated $100 million in projects either planned, underway or recently completed.

Jerry Tollett, whose family has lived in North Chattanooga since 1953, said the amount of new construction "is choking us."

"It's killing the neighborhood," she said.

Tollett said she understands developers are in business and she's not necessarily against them, but she doesn't see why the city is permitting all the development and not taking into consideration issues such as parking.

The Jadie Lane resident said City Councilman Jerry Mitchell needs to do more.

Wise, who has built at least a half dozen North Chattanooga projects, said the resurgence in the North Shore "has really taken hold."

"Who ever dreamed?" asked Wise, noting there was little new construction in the area even a decade ago.

Collier said he doesn't foresee the building slowing in North Chattanooga.

"This is a neighborhood directly adjacent to downtown," he said. "We're going to continue to see a lot of people want to live in those types of areas as downtown continues to improve."

Collier said he sees "every single vacant parcel" in North Chattanooga, the Southside and St. Elmo eventually built on.

"A lot of people feel like that's over-built," he said. "North Chattanooga is not the suburbs."

Collier, who heads the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, said he believes there are enough checks and balances on developers in terms of zoning limits.

At the same time, he said, the city doesn't control styles, and sometimes the newer projects don't look like older ones.

"The idea of government regulating how a house looks is not an argument I'd entertain," Collier said.

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

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