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Windtree Pines approved

In a marathon meeting Thursday, the Mt. Juliet Planning Commission approved a new neighborhood on the old Windtree Golf Course property, a huge mixed use development, a Fire Hall, a park, and another retail development in the middle of town that will have a Dunkin Donuts.
The over four hour meeting wrapped up with the approval of Windtree Pines, the 193-acre, 423 lot residential development on what used to be the Windtree Golf Course. The residential development was proposed to have 373 single family homes and 50 townhomes. The single family lots ranged 6,500 square feet up to 11,500 square feet. The property owners were seeking a preliminary master development plan, a rezone, and a land use amendment.
“This is one of the better plans I’ve seen for this property,” said City of Mt. Juliet Planning Director Jennifer Hamblen.
The golf course closed in 2017 and plans have been in the works during that time. During the meeting, commissioners raised concerns including sidewalks, front setbacks on the lots that were alley loaded, how many alley loaded lots there were, and lots sizes, among other issues.
“I would really like to see larger lots,” said Vice Chair Chuck Turner.
With all the requests, commissioners had trouble crafting a motion. When no one did, there was a chance it would default to being a positive recommendation to the Board of Commissioners. When one was crafted, the vote tied. After some more discussion on items like making the minimum lot size 7,500 square feet, the project passed.
Earlier in the meeting, two major items came in the consent agenda without any discussion. A site plan for the new Fire Station across from Green Hill High School was approved. Also, a land use amendment, an annexation request and a site plan from Hamilton Denison Park at Tate Lane. The plan for the park proposes eight practice fields and associated parking. Restrooms and a playground may be added at a later date.
A preliminary plat for Legacy Pointe at Golden Bear was also approved. This is just phase one of the development at the corner of Golden Bear Gateway and I-40. No business is confirmed for the development but possibilities include office, hotel, retail and convenience stores. The development will include traffic improvements to the area, and the project will contribute $125,000 toward total cost of installation of lighting at I-40.
The commission also approved Phase 2 to Sellars Station. The first phase includes The Christmas Place, which is currently under construction. This new phase will be just south of there between The Christmas Place and the railroad tracks. It will have two buildings, the front of which will have a Dunkin Donuts. The whole area is thought to likely be a tourist area, as in addition to The Christmas Place, there is a possibility of turning the old red building in that area into a Charlie Daniels Museum.
Planning Commission Chariman Luke Winchester, as well as other commissioners, had problems with the development. They felt it is a lot of businesses crammed into a small spot really close to the train tracks.
“I feel like I have been duped a little bit,” said Winchester. “I think it’s disrespectful to put this before us.”
Winchester said he had no idea that when The Christmas Place was approved that there would be that much more on the lot beside it. He feels there will be traffic issues caused by possible tourist buses in The Christmas Place parking lot, and the drive-thru traffic caused by Dunkin Donuts. Plus, cars pulling out of the development so close to the train tracks could cause problems.
The project met all of the city’s requirements, so a few minor changes were accepted, and it was approved.

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