Rezoning still sought in South Broad “high-end” grocery project

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – It was a community meeting at Calvary Chapel Thursday night with Chattanooga residents that wanted to know what’s going on with the plan.

The plan that would turn a triangular property located where Broad Street and St. Elmo Avenue meet into a “high-end” grocery store.

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“A lot of time and energy and thought has been put into how to turn this into a more bike friendly, pedestrian friendly, livable area and not just the pass through that it’s been for many years and this project they’re asking for the zoning to be changed back to C-2 which in my opinion would be a step back from what we’re hoping,” 12 year St. Elmo resident Paige Wichman said.

Folks behind the project are trying to rezone the property from Urban General Commercial (UGC) to Convenience Commercial (C-2) with conditions.

“What we don’t meet per UGC is the building orientation. It can’t be up close to the street because it just spreads the parking field out and puts parking with tractor-trailers and all sorts of stuff that just would just combine and create chaos,” MAP Engineers President Mike Price said.

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency recommendations are that the rezoning request be denied.

The recommendations state that it’s “not compatible with the community’s vision of mixed use, walkable development pattern outlined in the South Broad Redevelopment Plan and in the 2015 Broad Street zoning study.”

“This community is changing real rapidly. I think rezoning to C-2 is really planning for the past, maintaining UGC and planning for an urban form down South Broad is really planning for the future,” St. Elmo property owner Emerson Burch said.

Despite some push back, the move to get the property rezoned is still happening.

Price said that’s because the current zone won’t work.

“The examples that have been given to us are all square or rectangle sites where you can pull a building up to a corner, put the parking field efficiently behind it. We’re a triangle, and so, you just can’t make that work given the constraints of what this site has,” Price said.

The Planning Commission is scheduled take a vote on the project on Monday.

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