Hamilton County planners reject one self-storage facility in Hixson but approve expanding another on Highway 58

Photo by Dave Flessner / Hamilton County planners voted against recommending a zoning change for this vacant site at 7731 Hixson Pike, which developer Steve Hunt wants to use to build another self-storage facility.

Hamilton County planners are recommending against a zoning change to allow another self-storage business to open in Hixson, but they are endorsing a proposal to expand another self-storage facility on Highway 58 in Harrison.

Chattanooga real estate developer Steve Hunt is seeking to rezone a 3.1-acre site just north of Chester Frost Park to build more self-storage units for recreational vehicles, boats and other items with a multifaceted development that would ultimately include climate-controlled and warehouse-style storage facilities.

"We believe that with all of the growth in this area, a self-storage facility would be appropriate," Hunt told the Planning Commission during a public hearing Monday.

Hunt said the project would probably produce less daily traffic than if the site were developed for other potential uses under the existing zoning "and storage units don't tax our schools or sewer systems."

"We're committed to being good neighbors with dark-sky lighting policies and security and motion cameras on-site," Hunt told the Planning Commission. "We live here and want to have a good development we can be proud of."

Neighbors of the proposed development objected to the request to rezone the site from agricultural to manufacturing to allow for the construction of the new self-storage units.

Angela Hixson, who lives across the street from the proposed development, said traffic on Hixson Pike "is already bad and this (proposed self-storage facility) is going to be a nuisance."

  photo  Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Steve Hunt talks about the future of his own commercial real estate firm in 2022.

"There is one project after another being built on Hixson Pike and within a 5-mile stretch there are already 13 storage units," she told the planning commission Monday. "I don't understand why we need any more."

In its staff recommendation, the Regional Planning Agency said it had concerns with extending the manufacturing zone to the north adjacent to a single-family residential subdivision.

The agency is working with consultants on a new land-use plan for the city and county, but Regional Planning Agency senior planner Bryan Schultz said the current guidelines indicate the property should not be rezoned for manufacturing.

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission voted unanimously to reject the zoning change for the proposed self-storage facility at 7731 Hixson Pike, and the final decision on the plan will be made next month by the Hamilton County Commission.

The commission endorsed another self-storage project, in the 6000 block of Highway 58 in Harrison.

Property owner Krist Biba is seeking to rezone part of his property on the south side of Harvest Run Drive from residential to commercial to allow for the expansion of the self-storage business next door. A similar rezoning request was approved north of Harvest Run Drive in early 2021.

The first phase, consisting of covered recreational vehicle parking and storage, was opened on the north side of Harvest Run Drive earlier this year. Richard Wayne McCoy, president of the engineering consulting firm of Miller-McCoy Inc., said the second phase of the development owned by Cody Etling proposes a climate-controlled storage facility, some non-climate-controlled storage and covered garages for RV parking.

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or 423-757-6340.