The council deferred action on the development last month after the Lebanon Planning Commission approved to rezone about 20 acres on Leeville Pike to medium-density residential from rural residential agriculture. The development would be among agricultural zoning and borders a Century Farm. The rezoning allows 4.8 units per acre.
Many residents discussed existing problems with water pressure in the area, dangers of commuters on Leeville Pike and previous broken promises of other businesses on the road.
The council favored a deferral to give developers a chance to meet with concerned residents, which happened last week.
“The developers could not have been any nicer to us. They were very patient. I thought they were just going to show us shiny things and landscaping and try to roll this on through. We went to the meeting. They were very prepared and had information addressing our concerns, specifically the water,” said Ann Gaines, who said she would still like developers to consider a lower density.
“I think we’re making progress. I think one of the issues we have is the use of the land and the density of the development,” Chris Crowell said.
Wayne Baker, Fleming Homes chief operating officer, said the development would feature about 60 single, free-standing residences that are four-sided brick. He said there would be approximately 3.25 homes per acre. The homes would be valued at around $300,000.
The council also approved an amendment to the city’s future land use plan and rezoning of about 162 acres at 1501 Hunters Point Pike to high density residential zone.
Initial plans call for about 585 units approximately 1,400-1,900 square feet. Lebanon Planning Director Paul Corder said the 585 units is a reduction from the 1,000-plus units that could have been approved under the previous land use plan.
Many residents also pointed to flooding and traffic issues on Highway 231 as reasons for their opposition. Some also voiced concerns about reduction in home values and the potential of the subdivision.
The council approved zoning changes to about 107 acres on the road earlier this month after a meeting with Tennessee Department of Transportation officials.
Lebanon Public Works director Jeff Baines said TDOT officials informed city officials and residents during the meeting that road widening would only be considered when 18-20,000 vehicles travel the road daily. Currently, only 9,900 vehicles are on the road daily.
Several ordinances related to rezoning and plan of services for the future Lebanon-Wilson County industrial park were pulled prior to the meeting.
The property is between Cainsville Road and Sparta Pike, south of Interstate 40. The land, which has TVA lines running through it and railroad tracks beside it, is prime area for advanced manufacturing jobs, according to Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead.
“A lot of people are looking to come and move to Tennessee for their operations. This particular site is one of those sites that’s so unique that we have people already looking at it. We’re not sure what it is, but we’ll vet them and make sure it’s a good fit for Lebanon,” he said. “When you have the sewer, gas, water, interstate and the railroad – and the rail is a big thing here – it makes it one of those properties that can make a big chance for our community, especially the east side of town.”
Craighead said the development could possibly relieve sewer issues in the area due to the possibility of moving connections, along with the possibility of exits being primarily on Sparta Pike. He said the city has also been in talks with the Tennessee Department of Transportation about improvements to the road.