The Mt. Juliet Planning Commission held their monthly meeting last Thursday evening to discuss some heavily debated topics that were scheduled on the agenda.
Planning Commission members reviewed new site development plans for a future Jason’s Deli location in Providence, a building addition to Environmental Science Labs Corp., and a Grade-A construction office building location on Lebanon Road.
The Planning Commission passed on positive recommendation to city commissioners for all three site plan topics that were on the agenda that evening at City Hall.
District 1 City Commissioner, Ray Justice, attended the meeting in support of his district’s interested businesses that had proposed site plans to be reviewed. The Grade-A construction building being one of the proposals was quickly recommended as positive and decided upon by planning members. A proposal regarding an addition to Building 11 at Environmental Science Corporation’s location on Lebanon Road was also passed on as positive recommendation to the city Board of Commissioners after Ray Justice had approached the podium to represent the client’s request. Justice encouraged planning members to consider the topic request due to the business’s dedication to the community over the years and their good works in Mt. Juliet.
“Environmental Science Corporation has served for many years in the Mt. Juliet community. The family that owns the business and property are good people and I highly encourage you to consider this,” said Commissioner Justice.
The Planning Commission passed the proposed agenda item as a positive recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to decide upon and approve at the next meeting the topic is discussed.
Commissioners were eager to discuss the new site plan for a Jason’s Deli location in Mt. Juliet. The new restaurant location is proposed to be located at 64 Belinda Pkwy near Providence Marketplace, on the property between Chuck-E-Cheese and Gander Mountain.
The future development consisted of plans pointing at a multi-tenant restaurant and retail modern use building. Jason Deli representatives discussed with commissioners the building’s use plans regarding empty retail leasing spaces, information regarding the owners of the building property, and the building’s constructed material that will be used.
Commissioners discussed the concerns of the buildings proposed materials and the future appearance of the building years down the road. Planning Commission member, Mayor Ed Hagerty, held a firm foot down regarding the type of material allowed to be used in the coded area of businesses in hopes that the representatives would cooperate and agree upon.
“We want you here, trust me, we really do,” said Hagerty laughingly as a fan of the Jason Deli restaurant chain, “but only under the circumstances and building regulations that we abide by in Mt. Juliet,” said the Mayor. He continued, “We want you here, but we also want to guarantee our citizens of Mt. Juliet a promise of visible eye-appealing constuction that matches with our codes and building requirments.”
“We want to use building material that will look good twenty years from now. Since we are the people that have to see it for the years to come, we want to be fair and make sure it looks good and is eye appealing to the public and nearby residents and business owners,” said Chairman Winchester.
After little discussion, Jason Deli and construction representatives agreed to the city of Mt. Juliet’s building material preferences giving the site plan agenda item a positive recommendation to city commissioners to review.
“We’re looking forward to having you in our community,” said Mayor Hagerty as the board of planners congratulated the Jason Deli’s team for their push to the next stage of the building process with the city.
Jason Deli President, Jay Tortorice, who will also be the landlord & tenant of the property, stated that he is looking very much forward to being in Mt. Juliet.
“I have three other Jason Deli locations in Middle Tennessee; Murfreesboro, West End, and Franklin. I am excited to open a fourth Tennessee location in Mt. Juliet and am glad to hear such positive feedback from citizens and their excitement of the forthcoming restaurant to the community,” said Tortorice. “Although we have a specific date goal set for completion, we are looking at a completion time range of Spring 2017.
Windtree Pines Golf Course was back on the agenda for more discussion at Thursday’s November meeting, regarding the process of converting the golf course to a residential development.
Windtree development has been a hot agenda topic item since the early summer months before being deferred a few meetings. Commission members discussed the land use plan and master development plan for the golf course located at 810 Nonaville Road.
Commissioners continued concern of the proposed residential development was the over populated possibilities and traffic concerns to the already heavy traffic area.
“Adding 500 homes to that area of the community will only cause more problems on that side of town and inconvenience the current residents that reside on Nonaville Road,” said Commissioner Franklin.
Civil Site Design engineer and developer/property owner, Danny Hale, discussed other possible options for the proposed development and were open to other plans that were on the backburner of Hales mind due to prior backlash from the community regarding the idea of turning the beloved golf course into a residential area.
Owner Danny Hale stated, “We are not opposed to the idea of changing the proposed residential development from high density to medium density. Our plans are to allow for a larger range of people to accommodate affordable homes for newcomers or first time home buyers.”
Those who support the idea of the residential development understand Hale’s reasoning behind affordable homes and accommodating new comers to the community. Property values have gone up in Mt. Juliet over the years making it difficult for renters and first time home buyers to afford to live in Mt. Juliet.
A zoning ordinance amendment to remove self storage from all commercial zoning was discussed regarding new construction and those properties that were grandfathered in to the plan.
Northtown Village, an apartment community proposed for North Mt. Juliet at Highway 70 and N. Mt. Juliet Road, was also on the agenda for discussion regarding the preliminary master development plan, rezoning, and land use amendments but was requested by the developer to be deferred one meeting until commissioners meet in December.