Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Whites Creek leaders mobilize to slow suburban sprawl across their rural community

I received emails from concerned leaders in the farming community around White's Creek Pike above Briley Parkway in far North Nashville. They are alarmed about a high density suburban-style development slated for consideration at Metro Planning. They tell me that CM Walter Hunt is sponsoring a community meeting Wednesday (Feb. 19) at 6:00p at KIPP Academy Nashville (3420 Knight Drive) to discuss the plans with the developer.

I took a closer look at the area above Briley Pkwy, bounded by Whites Creek and I-24 on the sides. I was immediately struck by the contrast in a satellite view between the backcountry appearance north of Briley relative to the suburban sprawl that lies below Briley and to the east and to the west.

Nashville's shrinking metropolitan farmlands

Remarkably, this relatively unspoiled green space is not very far from our home in urban core Salemtown, but the contrast could not be more stark.

Nonetheless, the leaders deserve our support because if the community planning process is compromised for any neighbors it is compromised for all neighbors.

An excerpt from an alert sent today from leaders to the community:

A new subdivision is coming to Whites Creek - 43 houses on 11.8 acres (1 house per ¼ acre) on the northeast corner of Green Lane and Whites Creek Pike (the entrance to Whites Creek from Briley Pkwy).

Cornerstone Land Company, the owner of the property, has been buying land throughout Whites Creek, now owning 128.5 acres. They are seeking a subdivision permit from the Planning Commission for 11.8 of these acres and have contracted with Murfreesboro developer, Ole South Development. Since this pristine, tree covered land is zoned R10 (1 house per ¼ acre), they could develop the remaining 116 acres into 464 more homes. We must act now!

Whites Creek, north of Briley Parkway, is a beautiful, rural area. If this development is approved, high density, suburban housing will be your first impression upon exiting Briley Parkway onto WCP....

Our council representative, Walter Hunt, has the power to stop this development and put a moratorium on future developments until our community has the opportunity to update our community design plan the way other neighborhoods in Nashville have. Councilman Hunt has allowed ours to go unrevised for over 10 years. We have the oldest plan in Davidson County!

Please keep this on your radars. If Metro muscle tramples over the interests of Nashville's rural residents (who simply want the same community planning opportunities most of us enjoy), they may need our support.

1 comment:

  1. There's a qualitative difference in arguments that oppose a zoning change for develpment and arguments that oppose development that is, essentially, pre-approved.

    That the community development plan is 10 years old doesn't give much information. I suppose those plans should cover at least a decade at a time for planning purposes.

    That said, I agree wholeheartedly that communities need to keep tabs on developers and their work. I just don't see why someone who owns land zoned residential/1 home per quarter acre shouldn't be able to build 1 home per quarter acre. Residents can push back, but the default judgement, in my mind, is to the landowner looking for a conforming use.