Backyard gym draws criticism - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Backyard gym draws criticism

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     Downtown Cleveland's newest addition, under construction in a historic area, is an attention getter."It definitely gets a double take when people are walking down the street," says
Richard Burns, one of the few residents who would speak publicly about his neighbor's building project.
     It's not a home, or a garage, but rather, a three story basketball gymnasium.
     "I'm not sure exactly how this was presented to the city or the historic association based on their guidelines or rules, says Burns, who is friends with the constructive neighbor, identified as Matt Brown.
     "As far as I know, he has followed the guidelines based on what they looked like on paper, now as far as aesthetically, some of the people aren't too happy about the size of the gymnasium," says Burns. "I've heard both sides of the argument and I can see where both sides are coming from."
     While the gymnasium's facade may be in keeping with the neighborhood's history and look, others feel the building is out of character within a residential community.
     Burns, a former basketball player himself at UTC, likes the idea of a court, but not the gym. "I grew up playing outside, we played outside all the time, a friend of mine Chad Copeland, who also played at UTC, they had an outdoor court at their house and how many months can you not play outside in Cleveland, not too many."
    We tried to talk to the Browns about their gymnasium construction project and it's potential impact on the neighborhood, despite tell-tale signs someone was home, no one answered the door. 
    Burns and other neighbor we spoke to say the Browns are good people who do a lot for the community, but this is a bit much.

    Cleveland City Councilman Richard Banks says the gymnasium issue will be taken up at the next city council meeting, set for Monday


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