BOMA agrees to fund South Carothers improvements; Simmons Ridge project approved
By Skip Anderson, For the Williamson Herald
Franklin's Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday night gave the developer of a controversial subdivision the go-ahead to more than double the number of homes it can include in the residential community.
Tuesday's 7-1 vote allows developer Jay Franks to build 408 units on the 88.67-acre property off South Carothers Parkway, marking the second time BOMA granted a request to increase the number of dwellings he can build in the subdivision known as Simmons Ridge. BOMA originally approved Simmons Ridge 10 years ago as a residential community with 156 detached units. In 2010, the body increased that amount to 240 detached units.
Eight individuals spoke at the public hearing Tuesday night, not to oppose Simmons Ridge, but to lobby BOMA to improve and make South Carothers safer before opening the artery to additional residential development.
“I'm not asking you to turn this development down, I'm asking for a change of the staging to allow for more flexibility for people who already live there,” said Charles Pareigis, who lives in the Cedermont Community near where Simmons Ridge is to be built.
South Carothers is a heavily traveled tree-lined country road that's notoriously dangerous, offering unforgiving narrow lanes, no shoulder, blind rises and valleys, and three 90-degree turns. There have been countless accidents in the area, including a local man who was killed when he was thrown from his motorcycle on Monday.
Paul Holzen, Franklin's director of engineering, said that the $12.8 million project to improve South Carothers would take three years to complete.
Although BOMA voted to allow the increase in the number of homes, it stopped short of granting the go-ahead to build out to maximum capacity immediately. The developer is already approved to build 240 units. Vice Mayor Dana McLendon introduced an amendment to withhold additional building approvals until the road can be improved from the planned entrance at Simmons Ridge to Falcon Creek to the north. Some of the planned road improvements are the responsibility of the developer. BOMA passed the amendment 6-2.
The board also voted 7-1 to approve funds for the South Carothers improvement project, which is expected to cost $12.8 million to complete. At-large Alderman Ann Petersen cast the lone dissenting vote.
“I know this is a priority for a lot of people,” she said. “I will not be supporting it because it will add $2.5 million in debt service every year for 20 years to our general fund budget.”
The improvements will be built as a two-lane road with grading to accommodate a future four-lane expansion between Falcon Creek to Ladd Park subdivisions.
Work session roundup
During the work session immediately prior to the BOMA meeting, the body discussed the application permit for the “Eat the Street” that, if approved, would take place on Main Street May 10.
“Closing down Main Street on a Friday afternoon is a tremendous inconvenience for a lot of folks,” said At-large Alderman Clyde Barnhill.
At-large Alderman Brandy Blanton expressed support for the event. BOMA will vote on the permit application at a future meeting.
The body also heard comments from citizens about a petition to remove three traffic-calming devices on Fair Street between 7th and 11th avenues. Some in favor of removing the curbed embankments that constrict traffic flow said they do little to slow traffic and posed a risk for cars due to lack of visibility. Members of BOMA did not vote on the matter Tuesday.
Regional effort would study Harpeth River flood risk
BOMA also heard a proposed agreement between the Department of the Army, Metro Nashville and Davidson County, Franklin, Brentwood, and Williamson County to fund a study of the Harpeth River in response to the 1,000-year flood of 2010, with the intent being to analyze alternative flood risk management options of the watershed. The cost of the study is about $500,000. BOMA will likely vote on the proposal at a future meeting.
Cadet roadways to change names
The body heard a brief proposal to change two street names, Cadet Circle and Cadet Court. Given that there the neighborhood also has a Cadet Lane, the changes would serve to improve destination clarity for emergency responders.
Cool Springs Boulevard lane closure
The eastbound lanes of Cool Spring Boulevard between Mack Hatcher Bypass and Windcross Court will be closed for water line construction Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. until Monday, Jan. 21, at 6 a.m. TDOT recommends motorists to follow detours to Liberty Pike or Franklin Road.
Posted on: 1/9/2013