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City annexation request draws study, service plan

Big sky and wide-open farmland create a scenic vista along Cotton Lane near Del Rio Pike.  A large 400-acre tract. known as the Rogers Property, will be considered by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for annexation from its current Williamson County jurisdiction to the city. The property is part of the Urban Growth Boundary. Photo by Pam Horne

The Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman discussed a request to annex roughly 400-acres of property, known as the Rogers Farm, located at 3021 Del Rio Pike near Cotton Lane.
The property, which is within the Urban Growth Boundary of the city, is located near Whitehall Farms subdivision. Whitehall is located within the county’s jurisdiction.
The request was issued in a letter to the city from Bruce Sloan, of The Pulte Group on behalf of the property owner Robert Rogers, of Murfreesboro. 
Pulte’s desire is to develop a nationally-based senior living community with about 700-homes on the pastoral landscape.
The letter states that “with the successful annexation of this site, it is our intention to seek Re-Zoning and Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval…to develop the site as an active adult, age restricted single family residential community under the Del Webb brand of PulteGroup, Inc.”
Sloan states that Pulte will make application for the Nov. 11 Planning Commission meeting. The property is identified as Map 51; Parcel 13 of the county’s tax map.
City staff is currently working on a “Plan of Service” to examine the annexation request for the property.
The plan would include assessing the range of possible city services for water, sanitation, roads and streets, zoning, solid waste and the feasibility of a recreation center, according to Vernon Gerth, Assistant City Administrator for Community & Economic Development. 
“The city has not entertained an annexation of this size since the current Zoning Ordinance adopted July 1, 2008,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey said. 
City staff educated BOMA on the annexation process with materials provided by the 2007 Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) Annexation Manual at the work session this week.
Although, no decisions or voting has taken place on making the future development a reality, the city is required to devise a plan of service to assess the possible annexation.  
“This is a part of the process that we are required to do,” Gerth said. “This is key in allowing us to go forward with any type of development plan.”
The research and plan of service should be available by the Nov. 12 BOMA Work Session, Gerth said.
After the work session, a public hearing will be scheduled to give citizens and the landowner a chance to voice any information or concerns about the project.
Some homeowners living along Del Rio Pike are concerned about the high-density development. They raised issues at the public comment phase of the August BOMA meeting.
William Morgan, who has, along with his wife, restored a historic home on Del Rio voiced this concern.
“Signs say historic city of Franklin. My wife and I are honored to be a part of history,” Morgan said. He wants to keep it that way. 
Williamson County Commissioner Mary Brockman, District 9, who represents the area and lives on a farm on Old Hillsboro Road also spoke against the development.
“This could be a game changer for the area. Del Rio can’t handle 700 homes. This is a national developer and a force that could keep [development] coming,” Brockman said.

Posted on: 10/10/2013


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