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Commission votes on Jackson Hills ordinance

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners heard the first reading of an ordinance that would affect the Jackson Hills and Woodland Place neighborhoods as well as those who live along Beckwith Road.

The ordinance would annex and amend the Jackson Hills Planned Unit Development (PUD) and rezone the Bradshaw Farm from Wilson County R1 Zoning to RS-20 Zoning.

Nearly two dozen residents came out to the Monday meeting to voice their opinions, both for and against the ordinance.

Steve Armstrong, who lives in Woodland Place, asked the board to place sidewalks along Woodridge Place toward Jackson Hills. The increased traffic from the three nearby schools has made it dangerous to walk in his neighborhood.

David Lee, who also lives in the neighborhood, said he was also in favor of sidewalks and that they “needed to be done yesterday.”

Courtney McCoy of Jackson Hills agreed sidewalks need to be placed along Woodridge, but does not want the residents of Jackson Hills or Signature Homes, the developer, to pay for it.

McCoy also asked the board to install a separate entrance for construction vehicles to enter Jackson Hills because there is currently only one entrance for all vehicles to enter the neighborhood. This has caused concern over the dangers of so much traffic on a narrow residential street.

John Anderson, who lives in Jackson Hills, also brought up safety concerns about lack of a construction entrance. He implored the board to consider placing undercover police officers along Vanner Road, the entrance to the neighborhood. Anderson said this will catch drivers who cause additional danger along the road by speeding.

The suggested second entrance for Jackson Hills would come out on Beckwith Road. Because this would add an abundance of traffic on a dangerous road, residents along Beckwith voice their opposition to the ordinance.

Tony Jackson said he would like density and impact studies, and Troy Raines said Beckwith is not designed to handle large volumes of traffic. He said it would be a similar situation to what Woodridge Place is right now.

Many residents along Beckwith were concerned about the traffic accidents and potential fatalities that could come from bringing an additional thousand vehicles to the road. Paul Moss agreed that the connector would not be safe and urged the commission to coordinate with Wilson County officials.

Ryan Lovelace, who works with Signature Homes, said the developer would agree to put six-foot sidewalks along the north side of Woodridge, which would allow for a safer walking path.

During discussion of the ordinance, Commissioner Brian Abston proposed two amendments before the final vote. The first amendment would be to add a traffic light at Vanner Road and Golden Bear Gateway.

The second amendment was that a signal warrant study with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) would be done immediately if approved. The study would be for a proposed traffic light at Beckwith Road and Lebanon Road.

Both amendments were unanimously approved by the board.

After more than an hour of discussion, the board voted to pass the first reading, 3-2. Commissioners Abston and Ray Justice both voted against the ordinance.

A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for March 26, 2018.

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