Thursday, July 5, 2012
Revised Highway 151 Commercial Area Design Recommendations, already approved by the Ringgold Planning and Zoning Commission at its most recent meeting, is on the agenda for the next Ringgold City Council meeting, rescheduled for July 9.
The revised design standards say that builders and architects must: No. 1, Pay attention to small town proportions of buildings, including big box stores, to create similar storefront widths for historic Ringgold. It is preferable to have parking in the rear and the buildings forming an upfront streetscape. No. 2, Adopt C1 and C3 commercial exterior ordinances on all sides of buildings. No. 3, Use colors that are a compatible palette with the town. No. 4, Promote canvas awnings with breeze-driven fringes, not wood shakes or plain metal canopies. No. 5, Refer to the streetscape study done by TVA for Ringgold and adhere to the “Main Street” program for more ideas on appropriate design. No. 6, Place signs lower to be pedestrian-oriented; no large vehicular freeway signs allowed. Signs should not be internally lit and should have nonglaring external light; no neon, flashing or portable signs. No. 7, Not allow industry, mini warehouses or other uses that take away opportunity for retail, business and similar uses required for mutual growth. No. 8, Install street sidewalks, landscaping, trees and historic street lamps.
In other business:
n The Ringgold Planning and Zoning Commission approved a request from FD Group LLC to allow Georgia Department of Transportation to widen Poplar Springs Road in front of the Family Dollar Store. FD Group’s Eric Emery said it may take one year for GDOT officials to widen the area of the road. He said he thinks they will put in a turn lane. He presented the plans to commissioners and plans to meet with GDOT in the next 30 to 60 days about it. The Ringgold Council will review it July 9 for final approval.
n Ringgold Planning and Zoning Commission is unanimously recommending that the Ringgold City Council approve a rezoning request from R2 residential to C2 commercial for 745 Tennessee St. at the City Council’s rescheduled meeting.
The property, which belongs to James Rhodes, was hit by the April 27 tornado and Rhodes said he would like to rebuild his office building to house his firewood business. He also plans to allow his wife Jackie to host a monthly yard sale on the property.
“During the tornado the building was blown away,” said Rhodes. “I want to put the same building back up. It has sewer, water and electrical already on it. I recently tore down an old log cabin. I’d like to wrap this building in the logs.”
Planning Commissioner Sara Clark said as long as Rhodes builds it to the easements “we’re good to go.”
Rhodes’ neighbor Sammy Johnson of 4165 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road said the property in question has been a problem. He said no one agrees where the property lines are and it has been to court already. He said he wants to stop a problem before it starts.
Another neighbor, Raymond Johnson of 4281 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, said he thinks the property might actually be his grandfather’s. But he said as long as Rhodes keeps the property neat, he has no objection to Rhodes’ plans and continued occupation of the property.
“I move that we allow it to be rezoned to C2 with the understanding that any building must conform to C2 standards,” said Clark.
Rhodes said he has already spent $10,000 to upgrade the property that years ago housed a service station.