The East Ridge Beer Board and the East Ridge Planning Commission met Monday afternoon at City Hall.
The Planning Commission, with only three members present, approved a request from a group of home builders to rezone a tract of land adjacent from McBrien Road from Residential Townhouse (RT1) to Residential with Zero Lot line (RZ1). The issue will now go before the East Ridge City Council.
Developers James Anderson and Jerry Rozzell want to build 20, 1,500-foot, one-story, single-family homes in a 4.05 acre “L-shaped” area along Roosevelt Road just north of Dupont Srteet. The developers’ builder, Sherrill White, said the land is currently zoned for townhouses. If the board denied the rezoning, the developers were prepared to go forward with building as many as 30 townhouses on the property.
White said the market for townhouses is currently “soft” and that single family homes would be more profitable and more likely to raise property values of neighboring homes.
Several nearby homeowners who could be effected by the project attended the meeting. They had questions about stormwater runoff, potential traffic congestion and whether the houses would be sold or rented.
David Matthews, one of the principals in the development group, said he had met with Hamilton County officials about stormwater runoff and that issue is being addressed. White said the houses will ideally be sold _ with an anticipated selling price of about $180,000. He could not guarantee all would be sold and the developers would then lease the homes. The developers said they intend to widen Roosevelt Road _ a private road that dead-ends into the property _ from its existing width of about 16 feet to between 20 and 22 feet.
Planning commission member Ron Renegar asked Chairman Brent Lambert if he heard correctly that none of the citizens in attendance opposed the project? That was Mayor Lambert’s understanding. Renegar made the motion to approve the rezoning and Lambert seconded it. Planning Commission member Ann Pruett said she could not vote in favor of the project before seeing at least an artist’s rendering or design for the houses. Pruett abstained from voting.
The developers told members of the planning commission that they would attempt to get plans for the homes to the offices of the city’s building inspector as soon as possible for staff to review. He said the houses would be on a slab, have an element of stone or masonry and would most probably have exterior siding made of something other than vinyl.
Mayor Lambert assured the developers that the City Council would want to see illustrations of the houses and/or plans for construction before it approved any rezoning. The item could go on the agenda for the October 15 meeting.
_ The Beer Board rejected an application for off premises beer sales from Save-A-Lot at 3936 Ringgold Road. The basis for the denial was that a residence on John Ross, which is behind the store, is 64 feet away from the Save-A-Lot building. City ordinance requires that a residence be 250 feet away from a store that sells beer.
“There’s really nothing we can do except refer you to the City Council where you can seek a variance,” said Beer Board member Steve Gaston.
Curtis Emmett, a representative of Save-A-Lot, said that the business has been on Ringgold Road since 1997. Prior to Save-A-Lot buying the grocery store, it was the site of Pruett’s Food Town. Emmett said that Pruett’s sold beer when it was in business at the same location.
After the meeting one beer board member said that Save-A-Lot could potentially have been “grandfathered in” had the owners sought a permit within six months of opening its business.