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July 25, 2022

Position Statement: Proposed Changes to the Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations

On behalf of the Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® and our 2,500 members we would like to thank the City of Chattanooga and The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations.

Although we recognize that a lot of time and work went into these proposed changes, we do not believe that the community and stakeholders have had ample time and opportunity to properly analyze and respond to the proposed regulations. It is important that all parties involved understand the impact and consequences of the regulations being proposed on our community.

One concern we have is with the proposed street pattern and extension changes under 401.3. Our members have found that most homeowners prefer a subdivision with a cul-de-sac and one entrance in and out of the subdivision. Requiring connectivity to other subdivisions raises questions of increased traffic through those subdivisions and altering the landscape of neighborhoods that would normally be safe child friendly neighborhoods.

Another concern are the proposed changes to grade/slope discussed under 401.6. Our members have previously voiced our concerns about putting strict slope regulations on development specifically during our review of the Natural Resources Assessment. As we stated then and will reiterate here, steep slope regulations are detrimental to development in Chattanooga.

Although we have outlined concerns with the proposed regulations, the entirety of the proposed Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations raises the biggest issue of all. Stricter regulations will affect the cost of housing in the city period. As we repeatedly state, the more regulations placed on development the more increased costs to future homebuyers. In June 2021, the median sales price in Chattanooga was $280,000 compared to $335,000 in June 2022, which is a 19.6% increase. The more regulations the City of Chattanooga continues to implement the less opportunity for affordable housing in the area, which we think is essential to consider especially with the announcement of Mayor Kelly’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

We therefore respectfully ask that the community and stakeholders have more time to review the proposed Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations. It is important that we continue to discuss moving the city in a positive direction to ensure that all future development is not only forward thinking but also affordable for those who are profoundly affected in our community the homebuyer. The Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® are willing to meet with the City of Chattanooga and The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency to formulate a plan that will be beneficial not detrimental to the development community.