AREA 11 EXISTING CONDITIONS
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Click on the links below for highlights from the Report.
The Area 11 Existing Conditions Report contains helpful information about demographic and development trends, transportation, floodplains, parks and greenways in the East Brainerd area. We encourage you to review this information as we move into the third phase of this process, which we call “Community Choices.”
Population and Housing
- Area 11 has 21,400 residents.
- The population grew by 1.62% from 2010 to 2017.
- If this growth rate continues, in ten years there would be roughly 4,000 new residents in Area 11.
- The two highest growth rates, during that time, were young people between 25 and 29 (87%) and seniors between 70 and 74 (71%).
- From 2010 to 2017, Area 11’s median household income dropped from $63,073 to $61 521.
- As these demographics shift, a growing number of households are making less than the 2010 median Area 11 income of $63,073.
- In 2017 40% of residents made less than $1,250 per month while the average rental in Area 11 is $1,060.
Roughly 2/3rds of the existing homes are single-family houses with three or more bedrooms.
Single householders living alone account for 30% of all residents in Area 11.
From 2010 to 2017, 70% of new housing construction in Area 11 was single-family homes.
Demographic shifts toward more seniors and younger people point to a potential need for a greater diversity of housing choices in Area 11.
Commercial Trends and the Built Environment
Existing Conditions Report Chapter 4
Commercial Development in Area 11 is where there is a concentration of destinations; employment, shopping, goods and services. There are various commercial development patterns from more walkable, small scale, mixed use to more drivable, retail dominant destinations. Recent trends in commercial development are likely to have significant impacts on Area 11.
The Built Environment is a term used to describe all the buildings in a community, as well as the infrastructure – streets, sewers, schools - that supports them. It is both influenced by, and has an influence on, market trends, shopping patterns, transportation, and public health.
- The C-2 zone covers most of the commercial corridors in Area 11. While the C-2 zone has a wide range of commercial uses, it has very limited standards for landscaping, signage, building form, and pedestrian amenities that promote quality development.
- While a majority of the Area 11 Kickoff Survey respondents said they preferred walkable retail destinations, the current zoning – which regulates how things are built – promotes drive-and-park retail development patterns.
- Retail, accommodations and food service, and health care comprise 76% of all jobs in Area 11.
- The bricks-and-mortar retail industry has not been performing well due to the rapid growth of online shopping, which has been accelerated by Covid-19.
- According to a recent Chamber of Commerce study on the economic impacts of covid-19, there is a trend towards smaller footprint buildings and more telecommuting.
- According to a Chamber of Commerce survey, 60% of Chattanooga businesses say they will continue to provide telecommuting as an option for employees after the pandemic, and 11% say they plan on decreasing the square footage of their business.
Commercial development in Area 11 tend to be characterized by
- Uses limited to retail, restaurants, services, but no mix of housing;
- Typically chains, and "big box stores";
- Long blocks;
- One main street with limited connections to surrounding neighborhoods;
- Limited sidewalks, often with no connection to the street, or between buildings and outparcels within larger sites;
- Large, single-tenant parking lots in front of the buildings;
- Limited outdoor public gathering spaces, such as greens, squares, and plazas.
Existing Conditions Report Chapter 3
The transportation network includes all (streets, sidewalks, bike paths, traffic signals, and buses) that help people reach their destinations and daily needs. The section below covers key issues related to to the transportation infrastructure in Area 11, including maintenance, congestion, and the road network.
The Regional Transportation Plan is responsible for prioritizing all federally-funded transportation infrastructure projects.
Road widening (adding new lanes) or road extensions (new streets) projects are expensive and often compete for limited federal and state funding.
One lane mile (a single lane of traffic) costs about $351,000 to resurface and $1,466,000 to re-construct (Highway Economic Requirements System, 2012).
The City is responsible for maintaining 2,327 lane miles (excluding state routes and highways). Roughly 8% of these lane miles are in area 11.
Budget priorities in the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) have shifted from new road construction and widening to maintenance of the existing system, with 69% of the current regional transportation budget allocated to maintenance.
Chattanooga typically budgets about $500,000 annually for new sidewalks across the entire city, which only pays for about a half-mile of sidewalks.
- Traffic modeling from the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan shows that congestion is likely to increase on East Brainerd Road and parts of Shallowford Road near the I-75 interchange (see Congestion Map).
- Several factors contribute to congestion in Area 11 including
- regional traffic into and out of the area;
- a disconnected street network with few route options; and
- destinations that are separated from housing and therefore must be reached with a personal vehicle.
Every day, 12,811 people commute into Area 11 from other locations for work, while another 8,295 residents commute out of Area 11 for jobs located elsewhere. The commuter traffic alone adds 21,106 vehicle trips to the weekday peak hour traffic.
Natural Systems, Parks, and Greenways
Existing Conditions Report Chapter 5
Natural Systems, including water, soils, and vegetation, interact with, and are altered by, the built environment. For instance, impervious surfaces (roads, parking lots) alter the flow of water and increase the volume of stormwater run-off. Natural Systems provide many services and benefits to people, including flood control, cooler temperatures, decreased air pollution, fertile soils, higher property values, and recreation.
Almost 20% of Area 11 is covered by the Special Flood Hazard Area (as mapped by FEMA), which includes the floodway, and the 100-year, and the 500-year floodplain. Of that 20%, 836 acres are developable land.
Of this 836 acres of developable floodplain, 68% is zoned R-1 Residential for single-family development. This zoning allows up to 5 dwelling units per acre. At this maximum density, 2,842 homes could potentially be built in the 100-year floodplain.
All structures within the floodplain must be elevated one foot above the 100-year floodplain.
Much of the 100-year floodplain in Area 11 is dotted with wetlands, where fill is not permitted, making new development challenging.
Area 11 is covered by 1,150 acres of impervious surface, which equates to 15.8% of the total land area.
Much of the impervious surface in Area 11 was built before regulations for on-site stormwater detention went into effect in 2014.
The mature tree canopy covered approximately 5,399 acres, or 74%, of Area 11 prior to the April 12th, 2020 tornado.
A 2010 report by the National Recreation and Park Association estimates that trees in U.S. city parks remove 80 pounds of pollutants per acre per year. This means the tree canopy in Area 11 (prior to the tornado) removed about 431,920 pounds of air pollutants annually.
Area 11 suffered a significant amount of tree loss from the April 12th tornado. While an official assessment has not yet been done for Area 11, it was estimated that 5,100 acres of vegetation, over the nine-mile tornado path was severely impacted (Skytec, 2020)
Demographics: Chapter 2
Transportation: Chapter 3
- Projected Congestion
- Bike Facilities
- CDOT Resurfacing Projects
- EMS Coverage
- Fire Station Coverage
- Pedestrian Facilities
- Street Network
- Traffic Volumes and Road Classifications
- Walkshed to Destinations
- Walkshed to Transit
- Tornado Path and Street Network
Built Environment: Chapter 4
- Building Permits
- School Zones Elementary
- School Zones Middle
- School Zones High
- Vacant Land
- Sewer Lines
- Zoning Cases
- Land Use
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