The Snowball Effect Of Rezoning Signal Mountain

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Town Council of Signal Mountain granted (the first vote, this can still be changed) a rezoning request for property located on Taft Highway. It is currently zoned residential. This change was precipitated by a single citizen who regaled the council about the difficulties he has had in selling this property as residential. He omitted the fact that he had it listed for $900,000; he seriously believes that he did his best to sell this. If he had listed it as something a bit more reasonable, perhaps he may have had a few more nibbles than none. 

Anyway,  the Council seems intent on granting this request. Bob Spalding said that the town needs to take care of its fiscal responsibility (how quickly that pie in the sky independent school system fades from memory, but I digress); no one has shown how much additional revenue an office building would generate. How? Not sales taxes. Then property taxes? How would that be offset by the declining values of the surrounding area - a neighborhood of comparatively affordable homes. Perhaps they, too, could approach the council with a sob story to have their homes rezoned. Of course, there are the rest of the homes located on Ridgeway (which turns into Taft Highway). How will they be able to stop all of them expecting such changes as well? 

The town already has lots of empty storefronts. And let's not forget the lovely former Taco Bell standing at the beginning of our shopping district. That sets just the right tone for our town, I'm sure. 

The Council has tried before to change rules in opposition of many to please the one (plus the developer, of course). This happened a couple of years back when, once again, someone needed funds. So they proposed to reduce the lot sizes from 1/2 acre to 1/4 acre. But this occurred in a more affluent area with many active people voicing loud objections. 

This is a bad idea. It will cause a snowball (avalanche?) effect. But perhaps I am the only person who thinks that Rossville Boulevard is an eyesore. 

Nancy Caldwell


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