Neighbors representing more than 5,000 petition signees opposing the 225 housing units planned off Reads Lake Road plan to speak at Monday’s meeting of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency.
Steve Hunt, who expects to be one of the speakers, said the neighbors have several concerns about the planned unit development sought by Pratt Land & Development.
The three main issues, he said, are the addition of more high-density housing, increased traffic on the narrow roads in the area and the fact that the plan calls for building on top of the natural springs that flow through the 50.2-acre tract of land at the foot of Walden’s Ridge.
“We oppose placing high-density housing in amongst low-density housing,” Hunt said.
“Our other issue is that it allows [the company] to fill in creeks and ponds. He is going to fill those in and build on them, and we’ve seen examples around here of how that doesn’t work.”
Pratt Land & Development could not be immediately reached for comment.
The proposal includes a residential density of 4.46 dwelling units per acre, according to the planning agency. It said that the nearby Mountain Creek Trails development has 5 dwelling units per acre, while the Spring Lake subdivision has 2.6 units per acre. The Links for Reads Lake apartments has 10 dwelling units per acre, the agency said.
Planning agency staff said last week the agency planned to recommend approval of the plan, which reportedly includes 21.3 acres of open space. Hunt said he questions if that includes land that can’t be built on because of power lines and floodway restrictions.
“That 21 acres seems disingenuous,” he said.
Tim Laramore, executive director of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, said last week that his group supports the new plan. The property is adjacent to Waldens Ridge Park, a 200-acre site where plans are to put in mountain biking and hiking trails, bouldering and areas for picnicking.
If approved, the plan would give the park ample parking.
Hunt said he will speak on behalf of the Friends of Mountain Creek organization that was formed after an apartment complex was built in the area several years ago. Members of the organization live in the dozen or so neighborhoods near the old Quarry golf course off of Reads Lake Road.
Rick Thompson recently sold his property in Brook’s Point and has been a vocal opponent of the Pratt plan for months. He said the proposal for high density — apartments and townhouses — “is a non-starter for neighbors.”
“It’s zoned for R1,’ he said, “let him develop it as R1. Nearly 5,000 people signed the petition and they want to support the city’s desire to have more open space and more green space.”
The proposal is set to go before the Chattanooga City Council Feb. 9.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.