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This story was updated Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at 6:57 p.m. with more information.

A proposed $35 million project on Shallowford Road near the YMCA that calls for about 79 townhomes along with commercial space drew complaints from neighbors on Monday.

The developer, Guy Cherwonuk of Paces Ferry Builders, agreed to defer sought-after rezoning of a vacant 13-acre tract at Shallowford and Rivendell Lane for 60 days to work out a compromise with nearby residents.

"We're committed to working with neighbors. Part of that is listening to neighbors," said Cherwonuk to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. He said his group owns part of the tract that's currently zoned R-1 residential.

But Craig Sarine, who lives on Preston Circle, told the panel there are 29 signatures on a petition related to concerns about the proposed development.

He said they're worried about commercial and urban sprawl into the neighborhood. Sarine said neighbors are concerned about more traffic, noise and light pollution from the new development. Sarine cited existing noise from the new Waterside commercial development at Shallowford and Gunbarrel roads which is close by.

Flooding also is a problem in the area, he said, and converting vacant land for the proposed project would increase run-off.

"This project will increase those problems," said Sarine, who has lived in the area for about a decade.

Chattanooga City Councilman Darrin Ledford sought a delay to learn what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation may say on the proposed development in the area.

In addition, he said that the parcel is at a major intersection at Shallowford and Ogletree Avenue, where the YMCA is located. Ledford said the intersection is "a natural" C-2 commercial location, and leaving all the site in the R-1 zone is "an unreasonable expectation."

At the same time, Ledford said he heard the complaints expressed by Sarine.

"I feel you," he said.

According to the developer, the townhomes each would sell in the mid-$300,000 range. The 20,000 square feet of commercial space along Shallowford could include office and retail locations, including a restaurant.

But Cherwonuk said he's willing to work with the neighbors and the city.

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

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