Editor's note: The Murfreesboro Planning Commission approved the development at its Oct. 2 meeting with a 5-2 vote. The proposal must now be approved by the City Council.
The group Preserve Our Green Spaces has met regularly to protest a proposed zoning change to the recently-purchased 110 acre property adjacent to Racquet Club Drive and bounded by Cason Trailhead route, the Stones River, and the Stoney Meadows Subdivision.
The property, recently purchased by Developer Brian Burns and County Magistrate Howard Wilson of Blue Sky Construction, has become a focus of controversy between the developers, the group, the neighborhood they are trying to preserve, and the city officials who will rule on the zoning change. The group maintains that the development of this property will compromise the safety, traffic access, sewage capacity, and overall character of their neighborhood.
The developers are seeking to have the property reclassified from RS-15, or singly family development, to PUD, or mixed-used development, in order to build a 600-plus residence, gated community consisting of cottages, single-family homes, and town homes. The property will have an amenities center, a swimming pool, and a small store available for the residents to use.
A previous proposal was filed and put before the Murfreesboro Planning Commission back in February, and the vote was delayed due to an issue related to access points into and out of the development complex. Since then the developers have adjusted their plans to include an additional ingress/egress point, to preserve a greater amount of existing green space, and to limit exposure of select units to flooding as determined by FEMA floodplain maps.
Over the course of the summer the developers met with neighborhood members to discuss their plans. Here the neighborhood members expressed their fears and frustrations with the developers, who could offer only minimal assurances about how disruptive their project would be.
The group, which is trying to advocate for a traffic-impact study of increased scale, is calling for one that considers a larger number of key intersections to be considered for traffic flow at peak hours.
The traffic study currently on file, used in conjunction with the zoning change proposal, only considers four intersections relevant to the developer's plans, and doesn't include projections for either the River Rock-New Salem intersection or the River Rock-Cason Lane intersection.
Preserve Our Green Spaces maintains that these are crucial commuter access points, and should be included in a credible study that considers the true impact of this large-scale development project.
Having unsuccessfully attempted to fund its own independent traffic analysis study earlier this month, the group maintains that the developer's study, endorsed by the city, is inadequate and fails to consider the requirements for a project that would bring significant increases in daily traffic flow to their residential neighborhood.
Preserve Our Green Spaces also expressed concern about the Murfreesboro Water and Sewer Department's recent Sanitary Sewer Allocation Study, which considers the district bounded by Cason Lane, New Salem, and Veterans Parkway (Sanitary Sewer Service Area 72) as its case study and warns that, according to current development trends and projections, the system's assimilative capacity is reaching its peak limit (report accessible via: https://www.murfreesborotn.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_07102019-1024).
The Murfreesboro Planning Commission will consider the developer's rezoning request at its Public Hearing on Wednesday evening, Oct. 2.