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Staff photo by Mike Pare / A house sits on a 12.6-acre parcel off Mountain Creek Road, where a development group wants to build at 190-unit apartment complex.

A pair of development groups Monday won approval from a Chattanooga planning panel to put up more than 400 new apartments, with one of the projects drawing spirited opposition from neighbors.

About 20 people turned out before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission to oppose a new complex on a 12.6-acre tract off Mountain Creek Road that's zoned for single-family homes.

Brooke Bradley-King, who lives in the area, said at the meeting she moved there from the North Shore to get away from increasing traffic and noise.

She said 190 apartments could bring from 200 to 300 more vehicles to busy Mountain Creek Road along with another apartment project going up nearby on Morrison Springs Road.

"It does cause a lot of problems," Bradley-King said.

Another area resident said she has trouble getting out of her driveway at times, that there was a four-car pile-up recently and that the charm and character of the area is being lost.

There were also worries about the proposed apartment complex hurting the environment.

Kenny Custer of ASA Engineering, which is seeking the rezoning, said the project at 1145, 1149 and 1157 Mountain Creek Road, originally about 220 apartments, was trimmed to 190 units after a recent meeting with about 35 neighbors.

Also, he said, the developer is willing to see a center turn lane built in front of the property as well as a pedestrian crossing to reach the sidewalk across the road.

In addition, Custer said the development group is moving ahead with a traffic study.

"It was the No. 1 concern at the meeting," he said.

City Councilman Darrin Ledford of East Brainerd, who also serves on the planning panel, said proposed projects in the Mountain Creek Road area have consistently drawn a lot of concern by people who live there.

He asked if there had been any thought of developing a land-use plan in the area.

Regional Planning Agency staff said there could be a corridor planning effort conducted.

Custer said the apartment proposal isn't unique, noting there was another constructed within the past couple of years just down Mountain Creek Road, which already houses a number of complexes.

Panel member Jason Farmer said there's already precedent for approval for the new complex.

"Land use is set on both sides of the road," he said. "This is an easy yes from the planning commission standpoint."

The project is slated to go before the city council later for final approval.

 

East Brainerd project

A second proposed apartment project in one of Chattanooga's largest office parks in East Brainerd received the OK of the panel without opposition.

Pointe Centre office park off Premier Drive would hold 247 apartments, said Ryan Allen, vice president of landowner Pointe Property Group, in an earlier telephone interview.

The planned project, which would be done in partnership with Brand Properties of Atlanta, is slated to go on a vacant 12-acre tract within the business park, he said.

Allen said the apartments would provide new housing to professionals on that side of the city.

"Chattanooga is a growing community, especially the East Brainerd market," he said. "We always felt the Pointe Centre was well-positioned in this market."

Ben Hagaman, who represented the development group at the meeting, said the business park was done "first class," and the apartments would be similarly built. That apartment complex project, too, requires a final approval from the City Council.

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

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