Chattanooga planning panel turns down Lakesite RV park

Chattanooga planning panel turns down Lakesite RV park

February 14th, 2018 by Mike Pare in Business Around the Region

A Chattanooga panel has turned back an effort to rezone property in Lakesite for a recreational vehicle park after more than 200 signatures showed up on a petition opposing the plan.

Darrell Jones of Jones Bay Inc. sought to rezone about 5 acres of land at 9545 Hixson Pike from residential to commercial with plans to put about 60 RV campsites on the property.

However, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency staff had recommended denial of the proposal. The staff said the proposal was not supported by the Lakesite Land Use Plan. Also, staff said the rezoning effort wasn't compatible with adjacent residential uses to the south.

At a meeting of the Planning Commission on Monday, Jones said he was willing to compromise and try "to come up with something that works for everybody."

"The majority of Lakesite is for this," he said, adding that he could trim the number of campsites to 45.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin

Photo by Angela Lewis Foster /Times Free Press.

But the Rev. Adel Thalos, speaking for the opposition, said it had 202 signatures on a petition opposing the proposed RV site.

He said that at an earlier public meeting attended by about 40 people, there was "overwhelming opposition."

Thalos said there were worries about increased traffic in the area.

Also, he said, the RV park plan didn't have a bathhouse or restrooms, and there were concerns about public safety because there would be no outside security other than the operator.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Martin recommended the rezoning request be denied, based on the RPA staff remarks.

Still, Planning Commission member Jason Farmer said he had received a number of emails for the rezoning.

"I've gotten at least as many for you as against you," he said. "It's clearly a site intended for recreation."

The planning commission voted 8 to 6 to turn down the rezoning. Meanwhile, the planning panel also turned down an effort by a developer of a proposed new condominium complex on Chattanooga's North Shore to put in a retail shop on the ground floor.

SE First Holding LLC is looking at putting up a three- or four-story building holding up to 27 units at 715 Hamilton Ave. The development group for the multimillion-dollar project also wanted to place about 4,500 square feet of retail on the ground floor, but that needed Planning Commission approval.

But, some neighbors opposed the retail space, worrying about increased traffic. Also, RPA staff recommended the project be denied, saying a rezoning of the property could allow for a large commercial project which would be out of character with the neighborhood.

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


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