Residents respond to Collegedale rezoning
Unanimous vote turns over 500 acres of formerly agricultural land to single-family residential
COLLEGEDALE, Tenn. (WDEF) — For months, hundreds in the local community had vocally opposed the rezoning at Collegedale’s planning and city commission meetings.
Over 3,500 signatures had also been signed on an online change.org petition.
Regardless of their concerns, the city is moving forward.
“Another of my neighbors read the words of the mayor when she took office,” said Resident Kevin Kibble. “She would retain the quality of Collegedale, that we would not be a bedroom community of Chattanooga. Our unique quality, our rural quality was the quote, would be maintained. That hasn’t happened.”
Kibble says he and other residents “knew” the day would eventually come.
He believes that Empire Communities, a Canadian home builders company, “heavily” influenced local agencies and city commissioners to move forward on development — a development he feels was rushed through by locally elected officials.
“Unfortunately, each of the speakers [and] commissioners made fine presentations about what they wished could be done and still voted in favor of the rezoning,” Kibble said.
A notable effort particularly was geared toward the protection of Hidden Hills Farm & Saddle Club, considered by many to be the city’s landmark.
Farm Owner Tara Hills took to Facebook after the final vote saying she was saddened by the decision and, quote, “Despite the mental preparation and acceptance of the probable, it still wrecked my heart.”
News 12 was unable to secure an interview with the City of Collegedale following Monday’s decision.