The Planning Commission on Monday recommended approval for allowing 12-story buildings by the riverfront in the major new development getting underway at the former Alstom property.
The staff of the Regional Planning Agency had recommended denial, saying there earlier had been a six-story limit set further back from the Tennessee River.
The final decision will be by the City Council.
Jimmy White, who heads the ambitious "The Bend" project, urged the approvals for the new section of the Form Based Code. He said the group could proceed much faster with fewer rules in place for it to deal with.
City Councilman Darrin Ledford said "The Bend will be a transformational project for Chattanooga. This is monumental."
He added, "I never expected to see a project of this scope in Chattanooga."
Nathan Bird, who is helping plan the project, said there would be park space between clusters of tall buildings near the waterfront.
The Bend developers recently acquired a new 41-acre property that will be the site of a marina.
This was the position of the planning staff:
"Based on the recommendations from the Downtown Plan and prior zoning case history with conditions limiting height alongthe river to a maximum building height of 6 stories, the scale of development (12 ...