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Planning commission hears from public on controversial items

Kenny Howell

Managing Editor

It was a packed house Thursday at the Planning Commission, as several controversial items were to be heard. 

Of the four items that drew the most attention, two of them were deferred to a later meeting. Both were large communities to be built on South Rutland Road. Covey Rise, which is near South Rutland Road and Central Pike, has 849 proposed dwelling units, 508 which are multifamily and 341 which are single family. The other, Baird Farms, would be a part of the Providence PUD and have 285 single family homes on it. It touches both Providence Trail and South Rutland Road. Both items were deferred by representation. 

Two other items also caused some controversy. One was a new commercial development near the ends of Glenwood Drive and Tate Lane at Lebanon Road. It was a combining of three lots, two of which were already zoned commercial, and the third which had been residential. It contained a house, but that house burned in a major fire earlier this year. Residents of Glenwood Drive and Tate Lane thought that the new commercial lots would encroach on their residential lots and lower their property value and quality of life. The plans show three more buildings. They will be developed by Dave Braunschidel, who also developed the existing two office buildings that sit adjacent to the property. 

The rezoning was approved 4-2. 

Another item that caused quite a stir among citizens was a final master development plan for Meridian at Providence Trail. It is an apartment complex that would be located on Providence Trail behind Target and next to Maristone. It was to have 225 dwelling units and a retail space at the front. All buildings that face the road were to be bricked with a different look in the interior that included siding. 

Several of the planning commissioners were able to tour a complex in Huntsville, Ala. that would be similar to Meridian. Commissioner Brian Abston said the plans for this one looks nothing like that one. 

“The one in Huntsville looked good, with all due respect, this looks horrible,” said Abston. 

Abston was upset about how the complex looked from Belinda Parkway, which would be shielded once the rest of that are develops, but is open now. He also thought the 3,200 square foot retail space at the front was too small, was upset by the lack of a playground, and felt there wasn’t enough community involvement in the project.  

Residents feared that the new complex would put too much pressure on the area, especially on the roadways, which already has several apartment complexes. The plan eventually failed 2-4. 

The commission also approved the preliminary master development plan for Premier Dodge. The lot includes a 36,015 square foot sales center. The lot will keep many of the features that the rest of the Paddocks development has to shield it from the surrounding neighborhood including a thick buffer and privacy fence. 

The commission also approved the annexation, rezoning and plan of services for a property close to Eastgate Boulevard. The lot was zoned Industrial Restrictive PUD, and will contain five buildings on 261.05 acres. The building sizes range from 450,000 square feet to one million square feet, which would be the largest building in the city of Mt. Juliet. 

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