Monday’s open house at the Town Meeting Hall marked the culmination of a 10-month process that has included direct input from the project Steering Committee, property owners and business stakeholders, city staff and residents about the desired future for one of the gateways into the city.
The study, which covers South Hartmann Drive from West Main Street to Highway 231, includes about 3,000 acres of land directly attached to or close to South Hartmann Drive.
The final open house highlighted five sections, future land use and transportation connections, gateway beautification and open space plan, economic market analysis and recommendations, development scenarios and summary of big ideas and implementation options.
Development areas were conceptualized for two specific areas of the South Hartmann Gateway.
The north scenario near Lebanon High School depicts concepts of mixed-use town center and mixed housing land uses. These areas are part of a Leeville Pike lifestyle development node for the gateway.
The south scenario south of Interstate 40 depicts mixed-use town center, mixed housing, suburban office and residential land uses. These areas are part of the I-40 business interchange development node.
Plan developers said to create a sense of place in the gateway, there should be a sense of place on the gateway, which is what the two proposed two centers could accomplish.
Residents also viewed detailed plans for areas outside of the two areas.
Kevin Gunther with Ragan-Smith Associates serves as project manager and said the open house served an integral part in the plan development for the area.
“In the end, this truly is a plan that the city and the community and city leaders have developed. We’re trying to communicate and shape it as consultants, but it’s not our plan. It’s the city’s plan,” Gunther said earlier this year.
Ragan-Smith officials met with South Hartmann stakeholders – business owners, developers and landowners – and discussed the issues they see involving the corridor. Gunther said some of the top issues and visions included creating a gateway for Lebanon; recognizing and enhancing the area’s natural features; providing more residential options besides single-family dwellings; bringing retail and office to the corridor; and promoting and connecting the corridor to the Lebanon Municipal Airport and Music City Star, among others.
“This work has to be a compelling vision. It has to be a compelling plan that people want to take and work with it. It has to be a call to action, otherwise it’s just a document that gets thrown in the file and is of no value whatsoever. I think the mayor wants us to spend the money on this activity to create something that produces a product that makes Lebanon better than it is today,” said Steering Committee member Mack McCluskey.
The next step for the plan is a Planning Commission workshop and city council review. The Planning Commission workshop is set for Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Lebanon Town Meeting Hall.