“The planning commission has chosen to do a new land use study in the area of Golden Bear Gateway,” said Mayor Ed Hagerty. “They took that on not too awful long ago, but at that time it was a line on a map. Now, they can actually drive the road, and I think they have a very different view of how that road should develop.”
The commission approved Monday a pause on new construction and permits for the nearly three-mile roadway, which opened last month. The hold applies to land south of Cedar Creek at the request of Commissioner Art Giles.
“I think it’s important we get it right. Right now, we are wide open. We have – almost everyday – applicants coming in that want to build apartments and warehouses on Golden Bear Gateway, and I bet that’s not the vision of the planning commission with the land use plan or anybody sitting on this board,” Hagerty said.
“I started raising Cain about it about three and a half years ago, saying we need to start planning for this, and I was told it’s not one of the priorities right now. Now, all of a sudden, we got a road that is open, and we’re going to start planning after the fact. I think that’s just sad,” Commissioner Ray Justice said.
Andy Barlow, Mt. Juliet deputy public works director, said the goal of the study is to create a more detailed plan about the desired future of the gateway, including standards and access points.
Justice said he believed the move could potentially harm development in Mt. Juliet.
“This is going to kill [economic development] in this city. It’s going to kill it,” said Justice, who said he believed each request should be handled individually. “I don’t think we need to waste a year. I think wasting a year would put us in a worse circumstance.”
Commissioner Brian Abston said he believed the move would prevent heartache for the city in the future.
“I think there’s risk on both sides,” Giles said. “I think we’re trying to safeguard.”