A planned subdivision known as Southbrooke was the main topic of discussion at Tuesday evening’s Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
The Southbrooke neighborhood is comprised of several pieces of property along Lewisburg Pike around Stream Valley Boulevard, just south of the Goose Creek Bypass.
The proposed subdivision has plans for 749 units on 318 acres of land, which include condominiums, duplexes and big houses that will be priced from $250,000 to $1 million.
City leaders were split, four and four, on whether or not to move forward on the second reading, which would move the project further along.
Developer Greg Gamble explained the subdivision would be built “incrementally” over a 12-year period and generate $5.7 million in building impact fees towards schools.
“Approximately 60 to 70 homes per year [would be built],” he said.
Gamble also cited the companies moving into the nearby office space in Berry Farms as one of the reasons to approve the annexation.
“This is an opportunity, with the approval of Southbrooke, to provide housing close in proximity to this job center,” he said.
During the public hearing, several Williamson County commissioners, including Betsy Hester and Judy Herbert, who represent county residents in that district, spoke against the annexation.
“I am still concerned about traffic on Lewisburg Pike,” Hester said. “There has been no mitigation money set aside from the state of Tennessee.”
Another concern for Hester was the increased number of students that will attend Williamson County schools.
“I don’t want to have to continue raising taxes every year, because we have over $700 million in debt out in Williamson County,” she said.
Williamson County Chief of Staff Diane Giddens asked aldermen to “please push the pause button” on annexing the land.
“Why now? Why the rush?” she said. “Why do we need to go south of Goose Creek where you already know that on Lewisburg Pike, the state of Tennessee has no plans to do any road improvements to that already very busy, very dangerous roadway?”
Alderman Margaret Martin, who voted to approve the annexation, had a different view.
She explained she saw the development process taking a while, and the subdivision would be developed in sections, not all at once.
“This is in our urban growth boundary, and it’s by the interstate,” Martin said. “It’s developable right now, and I think that maybe we would not be very far sighted if we didn’t look at it now.”
Alderman Pearl Bransford, who voted against the annexation, explained she wanted to see certain infrastructure projects completed first before moving forward.
“There’s probably some things that need to be completed before we move forward on further annexation,” she said. “Let’s get some of this stuff completed.”
Bransford referred to some capital improvement projects, such as the Long Lane overpass and fire station seven, as things she’d like to see completed first.
Mayor Ken Moore made the deciding vote (5-4), which initially moved the annexation process along.
“I’m going to support the annexation,” Moore said. “I think that it’s appropriate. It’s close to the Interstate 65 corridor, it’s close to employment centers, and I think it fills a need in the community.”
However, despite the 5-4 vote in favor of annexation, the developer and aldermen indicated and later agreed during the meeting to defer the third reading regarding the annexation until the board’s Nov. 12 meeting.