St. Elmo development has some residents concerned - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

St. Elmo development has some residents concerned

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Monday, the Planning Commission deferred the rezoning of the empty lot on Old Mountain Road in St. Elmo until next month, so the developers can meet with the community to get their input on the project.

ALC Holdings is working to bring commercial and residential space to downtown St. Elmo.

However, some residents aren't so sure about the proposed project.

"I'm hopeful but skeptical," said Alan Field, Resident.

Field says he was surprised by what he saw when looking at the plans for the new development, with property lines that he claims aren't in the right spots and dumpsters being too close to his home.

Matt Winget with Elemi Architecture says the sketch is subject to change.

"We're in very early stages of design. Right now we're still working on the unit mix, we still have not done any formal studies of what the elevation looks like. I would say right now we're in about 10 percent of the design process, placement of dumpsters and things like that will be at 50 percent of the design," said Winget.

However, Field says there is a much bigger issue. He believes the one way streets surrounding the proposed development can't handle the additional traffic and need to be widened.

"They want to put 50 cars, I guess it's a parking lot on a road that only 15 feet wide, so 15 feet wide won't support 2 cars," said Field.

Field says the current mark ups of the plan show the building taking up the entire lot, leaving no space for widening the roads.

Winget says they're working with the city on what needs to be done to the roads, however says no improvements will take place until "phase 2" of the project.

Winget says they are taking the project one step at a time, focusing on getting the lot rezoned.

However, they are also concerned about the community's opinion and on Monday deferred their rezoning request until next month, so they can host several community meetings to get their input.

"The defer today was in direct response to bridge the gap between community expectations and developer expectations and get us to a place where we're all happy with the development," said Winget.

"We slowed down the fast track which means we had some effect on the system, and I'm hopeful that from there we can come to a good conclusion," said Field.

The first community meeting will be on Saturday at 10:30 at the Community Rec Center in St. Elmo.

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