Developers hold meeting with Leeville Pike residents

Xavier Smith • Updated Aug 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Developers for a potential neighborhood on Leeville Pike met with concerned neighbors Thursday before the Lebanon City Council takes action on the development next week.

The Lebanon City Council deferred action on the development 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 would allow 4.8 units per acre.

Developers held the meeting with residents to clear up any confusion and hear concerns.

Jordan Fleming, Fleming Homes president, said the plans for the project developed after surveying the area.

“We’ve locked into other properties and contracts and they’ve all been discounted for some kind of reason. This fits all the criteria. I mean we’ve got a box that we want to check and this fits every one of them,” Fleming said.

Fleming and Wayne Baker, Fleming Homes chief operating officer, said the community would target residents 55 and older who want to downsize their home.

“We fill that there is a need to shrink the square footage for people that are getting older in life. They want to go down from 3,000-square feet to 2,000-2,2000 – that’s the product vision that we’re looking for,” Baker said.

Baker 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.

Developers said the property wouldn’t feature a playground, clubhouse, pool or other things typically desired by families or young adults.

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.

“We are deeply concerned about the water situation as it is. Sometimes the water can be as little as a trickle,” said Maggie Crowell last month. “Quite frankly, lack of water is not something residents on a highway within the city limits of Lebanon – only 30 miles from Nashville, Tenn. – should be dealing with.”

Jeff Baines, Lebanon Public Works director, said water pressure in the area meets the minimum city standard, while developers said the development would present an opportunity to actually improve water pressure in the area.

Mike Manous, of Manous Design, said traffic wouldn’t likely decline on Leeville Pike as the county continues to grow, but a traffic study could reveal necessary improvements.

“I’ve yet to get [a development] where I wasn’t required to do a traffic study. A traffic study will analyze the intersection, look at background traffic and make projections for the future. It’s certainly not perfect in predicting how much traffic it’s going to be,” said Manous. “I would be surprised if they came back with anything other than a left turn lane into this development.”

The turn lane addition would be similar to the one constructed in front of the Stonebridge subdivision, which is down the street from this potential development.

“We want to have a positive impact. We want to be a value add. We’re not trying to come in and bring down the community, neighbors or property value,” said Fleming, who said the development could take 3-4 years to complete if approved by the city.

“From what I’ve seen of this one, it’s far better than an alternative could be,” said Councilor Bernie Ash, who represents the area. Ash noted other developments on Hunters Point Pike that have caused similar, yet, more dramatic heartburn with residents.

The Lebanon City Council is expected to discuss the potential rezoning at the Aug. 16 meeting at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

“The zoning is one of 100 steps. That’s sort of the first step. Just because it gets rezoned, doesn’t mean the project will go through. There are 99 more steps,” Baker said.


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