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Community    |    Articles of interest to the community.

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published on 09/17/2006

Annette Allen Announces Candidacy

By Contributed Article

I grew up on Signal Mountain as did my mother and grandmother. I moved away twenty years ago, but like many who grew up here, I chose to return. My husband and I moved back two and a half years ago to raise our two daughters. The mountain my grandmother knew is long gone. The mountain I knew as a child is just a memory. There are more houses, more people, and more shops, but the small town magic is still here.

In two years we’re going to have a new high school. This will provide outstanding neighborhood schools from K through 12 for our children. But excellent schools also bring tremendous pressures for growth. We must ask ourselves how we can grow and hold on to what we love about Signal Mountain.

In May, when I learned about the Shackleford Ridge rezoning issue, I began attending town council meetings, asking questions and making comments. In an effort to learn more about growth and development, I researched planning methods being used around the country. I also talked with town planners in rapidly growing areas of Oregon, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia. What I found were exciting models for innovative planning and zoning that might be appropriate for Signal Mountain.

Our own Land Use and Transportation Plan, written in October 2000, is a thoughtful document shaped by citizen input with clear goals and strategies for future development—strategies that “protect and preserve the existing natural and developed features” of our town. But our zoning ordinances don’t support these goals. A Land Use Plan should be a living, breathing document which guides us in our priorities for land use, public service improvement, community amenities and zoning. It should be a roadmap to the future.

I have decided to run for town council because I want to take part in the development of our future. If elected, I will work to:

· Create forums for innovative planners to educate us and for citizens to present their ideas

· Include Walden, Hamilton County and Sequatchie County in this process

· Update our land use plan based on what we decide as a community

· Amend our ordinances to reflect our goals

· Consider the development of a land trust for Signal Mountain to preserve natural, sensitive areas as Lookout Mountain has done

We have an opportunity and obligation to thoughtfully shape the future of our town. But we’ll have to roll up our sleeves and really work at it. We’ll need to come together—citizens, town leaders and landowners--to talk, listen and learn. I believe we can preserve the magic of Signal Mountain.

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to contact me at .

Annette Allen

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