Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A committee of Hixson citizens formed by City Council Vice Chairman Chip Henderson and Councilmen Jerry Mitchell and Ken Smith met for a second time last week to discuss the proposed Chattanooga Village development at Highway 153 and Boy Scout Road.
Called the Hixson Community Review Committee, the group previously came up with a list of topics to discuss with developer Duane Horton, who was sent a list of bullet points prior to the second meeting in order to prepare to answer the group’s questions.
Hot topics identified by the committee include traffic congestion, sewer and stormwater infrastructure, open communication with the developer, creation of a natural buffer, potential retail vacancies, maintaining site plan specifics, the viability of access points to the project, the timeline for completion and clear details of financing.
“We hope we can make the plan better through this process we’re going through,” Horton told the group last week, addressing the open communication issue. “I think this is the proper format.”
He said the creation of a 100-foot undisturbed buffer between the development and the adjacent existing residential neighborhoods may not be possible if the hilltop is to be maintained, but said he “wants to try to work the 100-foot buffer into the plan.”
“I’m very clear that’s a request from the community,” Horton said. “Once we understand all of our constraints we plan on addressing that.”
To accommodate the buffer, he said he might have to shift some of the internal lines in his previous site plan. He plans to come up with another site plan before submitting the project for approval.
In regards to the issue of stormwater at the site, Horton said his proposed bioswell system would stop more water from going into North Chickamauga Creek than the site in its current natural state.
He also addressed concerns about the project’s financing and timeline for completion.
“We’re not going to disturb the whole site and then hope something comes,” said Horton.
He added that Hixson’s dollars are currently leaving the community and being spent elsewhere. His development is slated to include office and retail space as well as apartments.
“The Hixson community is losing out to downtown and Gunbarrel,” said Horton.
The committee will meet again at some point in the future with city staff, said Smith.
Horton said he plans to address issues such as traffic congestion and sewer infrastructure at the committee meeting involving city officials.