By The Chattanoogan
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (June 2, 2016) -- Mustard Tree Ministries has dropped plans to build controversial low income housing at Ooltewah.
The plan had faced an outpouring of opposition from Ooltewah residents, and the Planning Commission denied a request for a planned unit development.
The Rev. Barry Kidwell, executive director of Mustard Tree Ministries, said he and the MTM board had met and voted to withdraw the application the ministry had submitted for a planned unit development on the 16.7-acre site owned by the United Methodist Church on Snow Hill Road.
"It is interesting, says Kidwell, "that in Chattanooga, where some 4,000 new apartments are slated to be developed, none are really properties that many would consider affordable. As an example, the housing PILOT (Payment in lieu of Taxes) program, which offers tax relief to some developers in exchange for a percentage of affordable housing units, considers $700 per month as affordable housing. In contrast, our (MTM’s) plan for the houses at the Harrison farm was to rent for $250-$300 per month, which we believe actually fulfills a dire need in our community for more affordable housing."