published Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield calls for amendment to growth plan

by Cliff Hightower
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Mayor Ron Littlefield said Tuesday he would like to revisit the county's urban growth plan to allow expansion of areas municipalities now can annex.

"We're already looking at bumping up against the limits in some areas," Littlefield said Tuesday afternoon.

He said he personally delivered a letter to County Mayor Jim Coppinger Tuesday, and a city representative also delivered letters to eight of the other nine municipalities in Hamilton County. Ridgedale was not included.

The mayor's letter acts as a "trigger" for either the original 2001 committee that established the urban growth boundaries to reconvene or for a new committee to be established.

Coppinger, reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, said he did not have much reaction since he had only seen the letter that day.

"We're evaluating the letter and we will follow what the law requires," Coppinger said.

The county and city governments set up the urban growth boundary in 2001 after the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law requiring it in the late 1990s. The boundaries were set up as an attempt for cities to have planned growth areas in which they could annex with limited controversy.

Two years ago, the city began annexing swaths of land within its own growth boundaries. A grass-roots organization, Hamilton County Residents Against Annexation, has filed lawsuits against the city to prevent some of those annexations.

Littlefield states in his letter that several factors have happened in the last 10 years that make it essential for the county and its municipalities to revisit the urban growth boundary -- the biggest being the arrival of Volkswagen.

He said the county has 60 days to put the committee together.

"If we move quickly, we should be able to have an initial organizational meeting before the end of the year with a goal of completing the work before the end of June 2012," he states in the letter.

Tennessee Code Annotated said the committee would comprise representatives of the county, all cities, the Board of Education, utility systems and the Chamber of Commerce.

Littlefield said he thought the current growth boundaries are a "little conservative." He said there are gaps between Chattanooga and Soddy-Daisy, as well as Chattanooga and Collegedale that should be closed.

He said based upon state law since he has asked that the urban growth boundary be looked at, it must be done.

"I don't read anything as an option of them not doing it," he said.

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Allan12 said...

Lived here my entire life, and never seen a Mayor more disliked by the public. It seems our Mayor should just shut his trap. The small cities like Soddy Daisy have done just without his advice. Hamilton County should just ignore this creep, and let this Billy Long type Mayor do his time.

October 12, 2011 at 6:18 a.m.
fedup350 said...

How much more damage can Littlefield do in the time he has left? Seems like he is intent on creating as much dissent and bad feelings that he can between the City and County before he has to leave. It is amazing that he wants to annex more of the County. The City Of Chattanooga can’t take care of the area they have now, Or maybe they could if there was a City Council with any common sense. It all boils down to the fact that Littlefield wants to force Metro Govt on the citizens of Hamilton County before he is forced to leave Office. I have never seen a man so hated before by the citizens. He has accomplished nothing worthwhile in his time as mayor. Hopefully in the upcoming election we can elect a mayor that will work with the County Officials for the good of the City instead of having an ego so large that he only creates hate and bad feelings. We also need to sweep the City Council out on their butts. There is no common sense there at all. It is simply amazing that Andre McGary has the nerve to say that his constituents WANTED him to spend $32,000 on the Rhino. Amazing! Wake up citizens of Chattanooga and vote in the next election.

October 12, 2011 at 11:14 a.m.
dennis said...

I have come to realize that the simple truth about Littlefield is that he is JUST PLAIN STUPID. If I was disliked as much as he is, I'd leave town without saying another word. I am just so thankful that his time is getting shorter and shorter. I'd bet that even his wife doen't like him.

October 12, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.
gertrude said...

Littlefield should just go away.

Let Soddy and Ooltewah/Collegedale do their own thing!

October 12, 2011 at 10:13 p.m.
ScoopAway said...

I personally think Littlefield should get a raise!!

October 12, 2011 at 11:07 p.m.
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