Jefferson Heights Development Delayed

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- A proposed development on the Chattanooga Southside went in front of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission today.

A few weeks ago, we learned about a proposed development on 16th Street just to the south of Main Street in the Jefferson Heights neighborhood. This proposal, if approved, would bring a new hotel and other new business to Jefferson Heights.

However, it faced some opposition today at this month’s Planning Commission meeting.  One of the main issues being raised by the Commission was the status of the current residents along 16th street. Several shotgun houses lining both sides of the street would be affected by this proposal if passed.

Several residents could be displaced by this new development.

Chattanooga City Councilwoman and Zoning Committee Chair Jenny Hill said that, “The genuine concern I have here is that we have seen the character of our community change dramatically over the last 15 years. And the people that live in many homes adjacent to this area would say that this is wonderful. And much of that land that was redeveloped was empty land. But to have working people living here and rezone them to commercial is a heavy load for me.”

The rezoning of this property would change it from a U-RA-3, or single family residential zoning to a U-CX-4, or mixed residential and commercial zoning. The zoning as it stands prevents commercial development from taking place on the property.

The representative for the developers talked about the vision for the shotgun houses in their plan. Landon Kennedy of Pfeffer-Torode Architecture said that, “(The shotgun houses) are roughly 700-750 square feet each. That’s right, our vision right now is that they would all be business incubators, small offices, artist lofts, something to that nature. It would not be single family.”

The Staff of the Commission had recommended to deny the request initially due to the proposal in their view not being compliant with the existing development in the area. They referenced the 2006 Downtown Plan which calls for an increase in mixed-use residential housing in the area, which this plan in its current form would go against.

The case was deferred until next month to give the developer time to tweak their proposal. That meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 12th at 1 PM at the Hamilton County Courthouse.


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