Both requests, one on Bell Road and one on King Street, would rezone property for rural commercial use.
According to Bradley County planner Corey Divel both rezoning requests were recommended by the Planning Commission with one dissenting vote.
The land on Bell Road is at the corner of Dalton Pike and Bell Street.
“That’s next door to me. It’s my property that is going to be impacted,” Bell Road resident Thomas Fannin said. “No one wants this there. ... The aesthetics of the area are going to be destroyed.”
Fannin said neighbors had collected 80 signatures from people in the immediate area against the rezoning.
Fourth District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe asked if Fannin had offered to buy the property.
“I had always told him that I wanted to purchase the property if he ever decided to sell,” Fannin said. “So, he did come to me, but the price he wanted was too high.”
Fannin said there is other commercial land available nearby that would not impact his neighborhood.
Not knowing what will be put on the land is a concern for resident Roy Williams, who has lived on Bell Road for 46 years.
Sixth District Commissioner Robert Rominger said he felt the intersection already had enough traffic without putting a retail business on the spot.
“I have received a lot of calls in opposition to this,” 5th District Commissioner Jeff Yarber said.
Mel Griffith, also representing the 6th District, said, “When somebody wants to do something commercial back in the back of a subdivision, we turn them down and tell them they need to get it out on a major road. When someone is getting out on a major road, not only a major road but a four- or five-lane road, it’s rather unreasonable to turn them down when they’ve done what we have told people they are supposed to do.”
First District Commissioner Ed Elkins said he had also been contacted by people requesting the land remain residential because of traffic concerns.
The other request was for land on King Street near Perimeter Drive.
Commissioners Rominger and Yarber expressed concern because the land has a shared driveway with residential property behind it. Yarber placed the request on the agenda for the voting session, but said he plans to vote against it.
First District Commissioner Terry Caywood said he had also talked to residents who wanted the land to stay residential.
Griffith said the property owner is requesting the land be rezoned for commercial use because she wants to sell the property. He pointed out there are several pieces of commercial land in the area, so rezoning the property would increase the value.
Since the land is going to be sold, no one is sure what would be put on the site if it was rezoned for commercial use.
“Timing has a lot to do with when progress needs to be made,” 4th District Commissioner Cliff Eason said. “I understand the lady that lives on the back property there has lived there for 60-something years, and I think we need to respect the rights of individuals who have been in the community for that period of time.”
“I don’t have a problem with it being sold. My problem is not knowing what will go there with the properties being together,” said Terry Buckner, whose mother lives on property that shares the driveway.
He also said there are a lot of commercial properties available for sale in the area.
The Commission is set to vote on the requests at the next voting session.