Hixson group continues to fight proposed development - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Hixson group continues to fight proposed development

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HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -- As soon as the plan sprouted last spring groups have been trying to nip the latest development project for Hixson in the bud.

"Do we really need another commercial development on 153," asks resident Linden Stricker.

After the first public meeting five months ago, developer Duane Horton with Scenic Land Company withdrew his plans, saying he needed more time to talk with the community. 

However, some say that hasn't happened, so they brought the fight to his door step. "It has to do, more than anything, with a lack of information," says Gregory Vickrey.  

Vickrey is the Executive Director of the North Chickamauga Conservancy. He led his supporters into a closed meeting between Horton and traffic officials to get answers.

"We've requested this meeting as a working meeting, we've had numerous working meetings. We haven't even finalized a plan yet," one official tells Vickrey.

Apparently there are too many work meetings and not enough public meetings.

"This is a prime example of what we've faced every step of the way since this rezone request was defeated in May," says Vickrey outside the meeting. 

"They're in a stage to come up with a new interaction that hopefully will accomplish addressing concerns that have come through those various groups," District Three Councilwoman Pam Ladd says.

Ladd admits she's had her reservations but believes Horton is doing everything he can to reach out to the community.

"He has been very forthcoming. I know he has asked me to give him names of organizations or individuals that he could meet with," says Ladd. "This is what a good developer does."

She says the land where Horton wants to build was zoned as a commercial corridor years ago. "It's been obvious that there's going to be commercial development in that area," Ladd says.

There is a public meeting scheduled for Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Hixson Community Center. The public is encouraged to show up and voice their opinions.

Channel 3 spoke with Horton on Wednesday. He says he's still in the process of talking with community members and hasn't finalized any plan since he withdrew his last one in May.

An official statement will be released Thursday.

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