Pam Ladd Waiting Until End To Decide On "Chattanooga Village"

Monday, December 17, 2012

District 3 City Councilwoman Pam Ladd said Monday night she is waiting until all the information is in about the proposed $100 million "Chattanooga Village" until deciding how to vote.

She hosted a public hearing on the controversial topic to a large crowd at City Hall on Monday night.

The City Council is set to vote Jan. 8 on the 190-acre office, retail and apartment project at Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road.

Ms. Ladd said, "I need to wait until all the information is in. Things can change. This project has changed many times and it could change again."

Rick Hill of Bardstown, Ky., told the group about 70 businesses will be located at the development, though he said filling up the retail make take some time. He said the "village type" development is designed to be "flexible" and meet changing retail needs.

Some 2,000 employees will be at the site when it is fully developed and the annual tax contributions will be around $2 million, he said.

Roland Ebert, another expert brought in to redo the plan and make it more environmentally friendly, said the hilltops will be left, though there will be "a little bit of grading" at the top for the roadway.

There is to be a restaurant at the top of one hill.

Attorney Joe Conner, who represents the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, said he was told that TDOT has not given any approvals related to an entrance onto Highway 153.

City Traffic Engineer John Van Winkle said some traffic issues remain unresolved.

Members of the audience wondered what will happen to the wildlife at the site and noted that a 2005 TWRA study listed 18 acres at the site as a critical environmental area.

Developer Duane Horton said not all the financing has been firmed, though he said he is in talks with investment firms, pension firms and private equity investors.

No large tenant will commit until the zoning has been secured, the audience was told.

Several questioners wanted to know why the project is being "rushed through" and said there should be a delay until traffic issues are clarified.

The site is owned by Jack Lonas, who has a house on the wooded property.     


Georgia Northwestern Turning Home Construction Green

A year-long construction project designed to teach how to build homes in an earth-friendly way reached completion last Thursday on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Ga. Leaders from across the region, participating vendors, and college administration were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the new EarthCraft home built at the college.   ... (click for more)

Dream House Winner Creates Private Foundation To Fund Animal Rescue Work In Bradley County

When Jodie Westwood learned she had won Chattanooga’s St. Jude’s Dream Home earlier this year, she knew immediately that some of her winnings would fund work to improve conditions for dogs and cats in Bradley County. After all, Ms. Westwood had already been donating money and in-kind resources to shelters and rescues, volunteering, and turning her dining room into a makeshift ... (click for more)

2 People Critically Injured In North Chattanooga House Fire

For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy. At 10:13 a.m. on WednesdayChattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser Street. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having been told that people might still be inside, the firefighters grabbed hand-held hose ... (click for more)

Kiser Post-Conviction Hearing To Resume April 6

A post-conviction hearing in which Marlon Duane Kiser is seeking a new trial in the 2001 slaying of Deputy Donald Bond will resume April 6. Attorneys for Kiser, who is on Death Row, said they have additional witnesses to call. Kiser on Tuesday took the witness stand for the first time, blaming the killing on the man he was living with at the time - Mike Chattin. Chattin, who ... (click for more)

Why Ferguson Matters In Chattanooga

The recent verdict in Ferguson has thrown race relations in the spotlight again. It is far too easy to get caught up in the debate as to who was right. But the plain fact is that the community lost, the police force lost and the nation lost. So why does Ferguson matter in Chattanooga? Because a police force mainly composed of whites got into a conflict with a community mainly ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Grand Thanksgiving Feast

I’m not really sure how it all came about but a few days before Thanksgiving last year, what was usually a crowded table had dwindled down to just Mother, Aunt Martha and me. Just the idea of getting dressed up made both of them tired, which happens when you are 89 and 87, respectively, and the thought of preparing the traditional feast brought only further groans so I announced ... (click for more)