City Council Unanimously Turns Down Rezoning For East Chattanooga Auto Scrapping Operation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously turned down a rezoning request for a recycling opration at 2017 and 1951 Dodson Ave.

 A majority of the Planning Commission earlier voted to recommend approval for rezoning for the request. No one was at that meeting in opposition.

Neighbors complained to the City Council about "noise, noise, noise" from the operation that had been operating out of zone for 10 months.

Tommie Montgomery said she had to go home "and take an Aleeve" after spending time by the facility.

"I have lived in this neighborhood for 50 years and I have never seen such a mess," she said.

She said crime had jumped by 70 percent in the neighborhood since the operation started. She said people could be seen rolling stoves and refrigerators into the plant. She said the items were stolen and were quickly crushed.

James Moreland said the plant was within 20 feet of the homes of many elederly, longtime East Chattanooga residents.

"I was appalled when it was set up," he said.

Councilman Peter Murphy said the facility is located over a ditch that drains to a nearby school and on to Citico Creek. He said such facilities are "notorious" for producing a byproduct of lead and other dangerous chemicals.

Ron Morrer said the facility provided seven jobs and that would be increasing.

Mr. Morrer said it was believed the site had the proper M-1 zoning. He said the firm stopped work on recycling autos when inspectors said it was out of zone. He said approval was later given to resume work until a decision is rendered.

He pledged to put up a 10-foot privacy fence and said any byproduct was being handled "in an environmentally responsible manner."

But prior to any vote, he just asked for time to dismantle the operation.



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