More plans for East Chattanooga, as 'Area Plan' gets community input
At Orchard Knob Elementary Saturday morning, the city’s Regional Planning Agency (RPA) unveiled suggestions for the Historic River to Ridge area. That area includes the former Harriet Tubman site, which the city rolled out plans for earlier this week.
City of Chattanooga Deputy Chief of Staff Kerry Hayes says all those plans are a long time in the making.
"The entire metro area is growing really fast and that's why plans like this are so important, to make sure we are really hearing in a very careful way what people want and what they expect us to do in terms of development and planning,” Hayes said.
The city announced the building of a paint plant, as well as community-centered developments on the Harriet Tubman housing site earlier this week. Saturday, the RPA added to that, rolling out a comprehensive “Area Plan” for Area 3, also known as Historic River to Ridge.
"They'll sort of move throughout the city as they sort of complete these plans, bring them to the City Council, bring them to the Planning Commission for adoption,” Hayes said. “But they really are so dependent on citizen input."
Hayes says public meetings drive the conversation, especially about what happens to the Harriet Tubman land.
"We'll be able to do any numbers of things depending on what the community tells us they want and that will be heavily informed by the planning conversations here today,” he said.
Hayes says community members want things like retail, childcare and affordable housing. Those things take planning, and the RPA plans are just a suggested start.
"It's going to take a long time for everything that people want in this part of Chattanooga and all over Chattanooga to happen,” Hayes said. “But it's really important that we have these foundational documents, these plans in place."
The plans drafted by the RPA and the community will be used to make zoning recommendations. Hayes says those recommendations will be made based on the future neighbors see for the area.