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Rendering by Franklin Architects / A grocery store and small shop space are proposed for a Walden parcel.

This story was updated Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, at 8:52 p.m. with more information.

Chattanooga developer John Anderson said Monday that he plans to start construction on a $15 million grocery store complex in Walden.

Despite opposition to the proposed project, the Chattanooga-Hamilton Regional Planning Commission took no action on Monday after a review of conditions earlier put on the plan by Walden officials.

Walden had put 23 conditions on the project that is to go at Taft Highway and Timesville Road. The site for many years has held the Lines Orchids Greenhouse.

Walden attorney Sam Elliott said he expected to report on the Planning Commission meeting today when the town council gathers. But, he said, no action was expected by the panel tonight.

With zoning in place, the development group said it soon will begin clearing land at the tract, which is to hold a full-service grocery store, fuel station, retail, offices and a public park. Details for a groundbreaking ceremony and the name of the retailer will be announced in coming weeks, the company said.

(Read more: Neighborhood group denounces proposed Walden grocery store on Signal Mountain)

While Anderson has said he's under a confidentiality agreement with the store owner, Food City tried unsuccessfully earlier to put a supermarket in nearby Signal Mountain.

"I am grateful for the commissioners' continued support of Walden Town Center and believing in the merits this development will provide residents," said Anderson, principal of LOP LLC and owner of the 15-acre tract. "Throughout the last several months, we've received overwhelming support from community members who need an affordable shopping option on the mountain."

But at the Planning Commission meeting, a number of people showed up still opposing the controversial project.

Tony Wheeler, whose property is adjacent to the planned site, expressed concerns about a coal seam that runs in the area as well as mine shafts which were dug in the 1900s.

"The site presents a significant hazard if fuel storage is put over the coal seam," said Wheeler, adding he has been in touch with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and plans to speak before a water quality board in February.

Attorney Joe Davis asked the Planning Commission to revisit the proposed project and make sure it conforms to the zoning ordinance.

He said the project doesn't fit Village Commercial zoning, adding that there's no residential element.

The zoning ordinance was sent from Walden back to the Planning Commission for final review following the town council meeting last month.

Mayor William Trohanis and Alderwoman Sarah McKenzie voted in favor of the development that is expected to generate, according to Anderson, about $610,060 in revenue to the town and to Hamilton County each year. Alderman Lee Davis voted against the rezoning.

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

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Rendering by Franklin Architects /A proposed grocery store in Walden would sit at the back of land identified for the project, while small shop space would go up against Taft Highway.

 

 

 

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