Re-zoning is the first step in developing a proposed 190-acre shopping, office and apartment complex that will have significant impacts on the environment, traffic, property values and quality of life in the Hixson area. The proposed mega-complex completely disregards guidelines for responsible development as outlined by the Hixson-North River Community Plan, and the developer, Scenic Land Company, solicited no community input in the revision of plans after the rezoning request was denied the first time in May by the Regional Planning Commission.
Hixson is littered with the remnants of failed commercial and office endeavors in the form of empty storefronts and abandoned lots. Currently, there is more than 600,000 square feet of available, unoccupied retail and commercial space in Hixson. Hixson needs intelligent redevelopment of and reinvestment in appropriately zoned spaces, not rezoning of residential areas for commercial expansion. Such rezoning will tear apart the very fabric of Hixson’s residential community and lower neighboring property values.
Traffic on the two major thoroughfares near the proposed site, Highway 153 and US 27, is projected to reach or exceed capacity within the next three years. The roads, as they are, cannot support another major development project, and they are not scheduled for expansion until the year 2035. This project will put further strain an area already extremely congested area.
The proposed development threatens to significantly and permanently alter existing topography, stripping and leveling a hillside that is one of Hixson’s last undeveloped scenic vistas. Upon completion, the commercial development will discharge more than a million gallons of stormwater pollution per hour during every significant rain event. This pollution, a mixture of sedimentation and chemicals released from paved areas, will flow into the North Chickamauga Creek and all of its tributaries, degrading water necessary for irrigation, livestock, wildlife and recreation and increasing the potential for flooding for all downstream landowners.
For all of the above stated reasons, the signers of this petition hereby encourage the Chattanooga City Council to deny the re-zone request for the development proposal at Boy Scout Road and Highway 153 in Hixson, Tennessee.
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