A proposed 1,115-home mixed-use development with commercial space located off Dobbins Pike near State Route 109 has received initial approval from Gallatin city leaders.
The Gallatin City Council voted 5-2 on first reading Tuesday in favor of a preliminary master development plan and rezoning request for The Meadows, which would also need to be annexed into the city if approved.
“This is not an easy decision for us,” District 3 Councilman Jimmy Overton said about the project. “Nobody wants this in their backyard, but we have to do what’s best for our city. I don’t feel like some of the things that could be put on this property, with the current zoning the county has, is in the best interest of our city.”
Plans for the 384-acre property include 943 single-family homes and 173 townhomes along with 142,000 square feet of commercial space that would allow for office, retail and food service uses.
If the proposal fails, officials involved with the development have previously stated that existing zoning would still allow for approximately 327 duplexes or 654 housing units to be built on the property.
“Gallatin for me right now is not ready for this project,” said District 4 Councilman Craig Hayes who voted against the project along with District 1 Councilwoman Lynda Bradley Love. “We’ve got too much going on as a city as it is. One of the biggest issues out there is infrastructure (and) getting to that project as far as Dobbins Pike.
“We’re jumping over a lot of property to annex this property.”
Prior to the vote, city leaders heard from more than a dozen residents who voiced their concerns and opposition to the development Tuesday. Among the issues raised involved how the development would impact safety, schools, infrastructure, taxes, crime, traffic, property values and flooding in the area.
“(This property) is going to be developed at some point, but I ask you to make sure that it’s the right development for the right area,” Lindsey Hollow Road resident Audrey Troutt Hesson said. The Meadows has not been thought through. You’re going to change an entire landscape to benefit who and to benefit what? It doesn’t benefit an entire community.”
In addition to the new homes, the project would also include the construction of a boulevard that would extend from the main entrance off Dobbins Pike and connect to Old Highway 109, according to plans for the project. The road would also include a bridge over an existing railroad track on the far western side of the property at Computer Lane, which city leaders have said must be built before construction of the final two phases of the development could begin.
Mayor Paige Brown reassured residents during the meeting that the city would not be involved in securing land through eminent domain if developers were unsuccessful in acquiring property needed to build the bridge.
“Because it’s a private development, the private developer would be responsible for getting that access for the property,” Brown said. “The city would not, so there would not be any eminent domain action by the city on a private property owner.”
Wallace Road resident Frosty Gregory, whose property would border The Meadows for more than one mile on the north side, said he supports to the project based on the alternatives.
“Of all the plans I’ve seen, this is the best one by far I’ve seen for this property,” said Gregory, who was one of two residents who spoke in favor of the plan Tuesday. “I wish it could stay a farm, but it can’t stay a farm.
“If the demand is there, those homes are going somewhere and it’s going to take up a lot more land to do that.”
A public hearing regarding the preliminary master development plan, rezoning and annexation for The Meadows is scheduled to take place during the Gallatin City Council meeting at city hall on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. A final vote is expected to take place Nov. 19.
An interlocal agreement would then need to be reached between Gallatin and Sumner County leaders outlining which segments of county roadways the city would need to take over maintenance of in order to serve the development since the project would not border any property currently located inside the city limits.