City planners gave developers the go-ahead on a proposed 254-unit apartment complex on Shallowford Road after more than an hour of debate and compromise between area residents and Murfreesboro, Tenn., developer TDK Construction on Monday.
Planners delayed a vote on the proposed East Brainerd development last month after opponents argued that the high-density apartment complex violated the area's community plan, could increase flooding and traffic and wouldn't be visually appealing.
Neighbors voiced many of the same concerns at Monday's meeting, but developers presented a revised plan that included a myriad of extra elements aimed at appeasing opponents.
Developers agreed to add extra space between the apartments and neighboring lots, fences and additional landscaping on some property lines and a retention pond. TDK Construction also agreed to move the taller three- and four-story buildings away from Shallowford Road and reduce the number of apartment units from 262 to 254.
"They have made every effort to accommodate me as a neighbor," said Greg Vital, president of Independent Healthcare Properties, which owns a senior living facility adjacent to the proposed apartments.
Dubbed The Landings at Ashwood, the proposed $26 million complex will include one, two- and three-bedroom apartments that would rent for $900 to $1,300 a month.
The complex will go against the guidelines in the Hamilton Place Community Plan, which calls for a maximum of eight units per acre in that area. The Landings at Ashwood will have about twice that density level.
"This is not in conjunction with the plan, and that's really why we're opposed to it," neighbor Joe Schultz said.
After the initial hourlong discussion, opponents and developers met outside the planning meeting to hash out the details of the compromise for another 45 minutes before coming back with a tentative agreement. Planners then voted to approve the complex.
"We're glad both parties came away somewhat satisfied," said Ross Bradley, vice president of development at TDK Construction. "That's always good."
The extra elements will add at least $100,000 to the project's cost, he added. The project will still need to earn a vote of approval at the next City Council meeting on May 14. If the project moves forward, the apartments are scheduled to open in 2014.
Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...