Hillsboro Cove deferred by planning commission
By Kerri Bartlett
Commissioner Mary Brockman, District 9, spoke out against the Hillsboro Cove development, which would bring 20 new homes on 34-acres to Old Hillsboro Road. She lives on a farm on the scenic road.
After intense community debate over the proposed Hillsboro Cove development, located on the coveted, rural Old Hillsboro Road near Del Rio Pike, the Williamson County Regional Planning Commission voted to defer the item until their September meeting.
“They heard our words and our concern,” Commissioner Mary Brockman, District 9, said. “They are legitimate.”
Brockman, who has been outspokenly against the development worries that it will bring a chain reaction of development leading to “suburbanization” of the pristine area.
“It doesn’t meet the Land Use Plan that states this area is for rural preservation,” Brockman told the commission. “Once people found out what was happening, my phone has been ringing off the hook. I even received a letter from [an Old Hillsboro Road landowner in] Tokyo who is finding his way back here and considers it a treasure.”
The proposed development consists of 20 single-family lots, located on an approximately 34-acre parcel on the east side of Old Hillsboro Road.
Brockman listed her reasons in support of a deferral, including the threat to community character, the project’s location being too close to the flood plain and the absence of current released FEMA flood plain maps. She also takes issue with the density of one home on one acre, which she believes is “incongruous” to the area, as well as a potential traffic problem.
“Old Hillsboro Road has literally become a racetrack. Traffic has changed exponentially,” she said.
The audience – consisting of residents, activists and environmentalists – backed her comments by giving her address a standing ovation.
However, attorney Bryan Echols, representing the applicant Hillsboro Development, LLC, argued that the plan is within all legal guidelines and rules. “This body’s role is to ensure all rules and ordinances have been met.”
“There are no deficiencies to be addressed,” he said during discussion.
After hearing concerns, Planning Commissioner Jack Walton made a motion to defer the item until the body's Sept.12 meeting.
A voice vote was taken due to a malfunction of the voting system. The voice vote was confirmed by a show of hands. Six planning commissioners voted in favor of the motion. They are Walton, Don Crohan, Tommy Murdic, Holly Givens, Robin Baldree, and Susan Fisher. Commissioners Bryan Richter, Brian Sanders, Paul Pratt, Pete Moseley, and Chairman John Lackey opposed the motion to defer.
“I mentioned at the last meeting that I was not quite comfortable with the plans, and I am still not completely comfortable,” Walton said. “Let’s give it a month so everyone can be comfortable.”
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Posted on: 8/9/2013