Stormwater Revision Travesty - And Response

Friday, November 10, 2017

I attended City Council’s latest hearing on weakening current stormwater regulations, and, as someone who grew up and went to school in Brainerd now living in District 6, I have several observations. 

First, thanks to the City Council for the series of hearings on this matter, graciously and fairly presided over by Councilwoman Carol Berz. The city government was remarkably secretive as it developed this proposal, refusing to partner or even notify the advocacy groups which helped develop the current standards collaboratively in 2014, choosing instead to work exclusively with the development community for this proposed change. 

Second, I listened in slack-jawed amazement to the remarkable claims by Mr. Bill Raines and his development cabal, trotting up one after the other to assert that the South Chickamauga watershed’s rainwater retention standard-- currently requiring 1.6 inches of rain on site-- should be reduced to 1 inch, well, just because.  Because that’s what the state legislature set for the entire state, with no allowance for different topography, conditions, or other pesky facts generally known as ‘science.’ Because apparently the South Chick’s watershed—the only place in town that 1.6 inch standard applies—is the most magical bit of land in the city’s wide area:  according to them, it’s the source of Chattanooga’s scarcity in low income housing.  This 1.6 inch retention standard in the South Chick watershed has, according to them, all by itself made building starter homes impossible in Chattanooga. These preposterous claims were made with straight faces by grown men and women.  

Additionally, the city earlier acknowledged that by bowing to the developers’ grab and reducing that pesky 1.6 inch South Chick standard to 1 inch, that the city,  i.e., ‘we’, would have to construct ‘other remedies’ to meet federal water standards. Such projects are notoriously expensive. Therefore, taxpayers (‘we’) would have to pay so that Mr. Raines and friends can make more money.  I want them to make money—I am all for making money—but not if I have to pay for it. 

Meanwhile, the Trust for Public Land continues construction of the South Chickamauga Greenway. It will soon connect from the Riverwalk to Camp Jordan, a green jewel awaiting discovery, running through some of Chattanooga’s poorest, most park- starved neighborhoods.   It will doubtless compound the same cumulative economic and recreational benefits that the original Riverwalk brought, becoming an asset for tens of thousands of Chattanoogans.  We should protect it from being mined for wealthy businesses, which damage we citizens will pay to correct. 

Lisa Lemza 

* * * 

Thank you, Ms. Lemza, for a thoughtful, informative summation of the current issue regarding the "poor" developers in Chattanooga. 

I too find it hard to fathom that any developer in this area could complain that these standards are keeping them from building anything, anywhere.  Simply drive around town and look for yourself.  If there's a square foot of land to be had, there's a developer proposing to cut lot line and zoning requirements to allow three houses on it.  No matter that the houses don't fit in the existing neighborhood or that the lack of buffer zones between them and existing homes lowers property values of said existing homes. So long as someone makes a buck, everyone else can just deal with it. 

As for the developers "poor me" assertions regarding stormwater requirements, there are multiple examples over the years of new developments causing flooding in existing neighborhoods.  It is not fair or reasonable to allow these people to cause damage to other property owners and simply walk away with no consequences. 

If you're in this business, you know there are regulations and requirements that are part of it.  Leaving the taxpayers to clean up after your projects isn't the answer. 

I hope our representatives are paying attention to the taxpayers' voices in this discussion.  I am paying attention to their votes.

Darlene Kilgore



Too Many Questions

First it was about 2,000, then we were told it’s up to 4,000. We have no way of knowing who’s coming or what their purpose is. NBC and CNN assure us they are seeking sanctuary but how can we know? Neither Honduras or our subjective media in America have been honest with us in the past. So, how do we know why that many people are marching across Central America?   ... (click for more)

For The Benefit Of Soddy Daisy, Keep Rick Nunley, Robert Cothran

For the benefit of Soddy Daisy,  please keep Rick Nunley and Robert Cothran on the Soddy Daisy City Commission. Those are two men who have made the city of Soddy daisy great. Rick Nunley and Robert Cothran have both worked hard for the city. Please, re-elect Rick Nunley and Robert Cothran for Soddy Daisy City Commission. ... (click for more)

Man Fires At Woman Stealing His Car At Broad Street Raceway; Both End Up In Jail

A man had his car stolen at the Raceway on South Broad Street on Sunday night and both he and the car thief wound up in jail.   Police said they charged Donald Kenyatta Domino, 23, of 747 E. Henderson Dr., with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment when he came out of the store and started shooting at the driver as she sped off in his car. Denise Farmer, 35, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigating Shooting That Victim Says Happened A Week Ago

Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital on Friday evening after a person arrived with a gunshot wound.   The injured man told police he was shot on Thursday, Oct. 11. He said he was shot while on the dance floor of a club somewhere along Brainerd Road.   If you have any information about the incident, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525. You ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Opens Ticket Deposits

Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club opened ticket deposits on Monday for its inaugural 2019 season of professional play in USL League One. Deposits ensure soccer fans get to pick their preferred seats early for group, season and individual tickets. By placing a deposit, fans will also have access to priority seating for the new soccer-specific stadium being built for the 2020 ... (click for more)

Baylor, GPS, CCS Advance To State Soccer Semifinals

Baylor traveled to Briarcrest in Memphis on Saturday to compete for a Division II-AA final four spot.  After play to a 0-0 tie in the first half, Baylor would find itself down 1-0 in the 63rd minute when Anna Strong scored off a corner kick.  That lead did not last long as Ara Rhodes scored the game tying goal one minute later off an Avery David corner kick. Two minutes ... (click for more)