The East Ridge City Council approved the rezoning of a piece of property on Frawley Road paving the way for the construction of a new hotel and water park, Thursday at it’s only meeting in November.
Roshan Amin, the CEO of Dynamic Group, told the council that his development group intends to invest $27 million in the hotel that will fly the Marriott flag. The project, which includes a 25,000 square-foot indoor water park, would generate $10 million a year in taxable revenue and spur new development in the city.
A public hearing on the rezoning at 730 Frawley Rd. was held prior to the council voting on first reading of the ordinance. More than a dozen residence who may be affected by the rezoning were in attendance. However, only Jeff Ellis, who lives on a hill above the proposed project, addressed the council.
Ellis had several requests of the developers that ranged from burying a small stretch of power line that dangles five-feet off the ground on the project site, to possibly installing turn lanes on Ringgold Road to facilitate traffic flow in the area.
Ellis said that he was concerned about noise coming from the water park and opportunistic criminals breaking into cars at the facilities’ parking lot.
Tommy Massingale, who is working in conjunction with the Dynamic Group, told Ellis that the water park would be an indoor facility and that it was in the best interests of the business to keep noise levels low to accommodate hotel guests. He also said that in addition to the parking lot being monitored by surveillance cameras, it would be patrolled by a security guard.
Vice Mayor Larry Sewell, who was running the meeting as Mayor Brent Lambert was absent, told Ellis and others in the audience that this ordinance simply rezoned the property. There would be additional opportunities, he said, for public input as the development moves forward.
The vote to rezone was 3-0, as Councilwoman Esther Helton was also absent from the meeting. A second reading of the ordinance is required for the rezoning to be finalized.
The council passed on first reading an ordinance to rezone the property at 6750 Ringgold Road to C-2 (general commercial) to allow for construction of the new home of Southern Honda Powersports. There was no discussion.
The council passed a resolution to move forward with obtaining a loan and issuing bonds in the amount of $2.3 million. The money will be used for improvements to Camp Jordan Park.
In regard to the city borrowing the money, Councilman Jacky Cagle asked City Attorney Mark Litchford about a state statute that allows citizens to potentially stop the city from taking on too much debt.
Litchford cited the statute which allows citizens to circulate a petition requiring 10 percent of the registered voters to sign it within 20 days of the city passing the measure. The petition would then go to the Hamilton County Election Commission and a special election would be held. If the majority of voters cast ballots against borrowing the money, it would stop the action of the city to issue the bonds.
Cagle said in light of that information, he would vote in favor of the resolution. His fellow councilmen joined him in passing the measure.
The council passed without discussion an ordinance that would permit the city to move forward with the construction of a new communications tower behind the Fire and Police Services Center. The Motorola communications tower would provide public safety officers in East Ridge better coverage on its radios. Cost of the tower is about $900,000.
The council approved on final reading an ordinance that permits narrower lots in a subdivision being built in the 500 block of Frawley Road. The narrower lots will allow the developer, Bharati Desai, to build 40 additional homes in the subdivision.
The council passes a resolution approving a bid by Talley Construction for road resurfacing. The city intends to resurface 18 streets in three phases, said Assistant City Manager Kenny Custer. The cost of the project is not to exceed $705,000.
The Council took no action on a tabled resolution that would commit the city to building a field house at Raymond James Stadium at East Ridge High School. Custer told the council that football coach Tim James is looking at alternate designs for a multi-use building and is considering new fundraising efforts by the alumni association to help defray costs. The council said it anticipates revisiting the measure in February of 2019.