Plans for a new 399-home subdivision on Hartsville Pike have been withdrawn by the developer following opposition from the Gallatin Planning Commission and more than a dozen nearby residents, according to officials with the city’s planning department.
The decision to pull the project came after planning commissioners voted not to recommend approval of a preliminary master development plan, rezoning and annexation request for Hamilton Heights last week.
The approximately 187-acre development was being proposed at the southwestern corner of Hartsville Pike and Barry Lane between Carolyn Lane and Zieglers Fort Road.
“I don’t think it’s ready for annexation at this time,” Gallatin Planning Commission Chairman John Puryear said prior to the vote on Oct. 25. “Our infrastructure in that area can’t handle it. It’s a good-looking plan in the wrong spot at the wrong time.”
Earlier in the meeting, officials heard from 17 residents who expressed various concerns about the project including how the large number of new homes would add to existing traffic issues in the area.
Hamilton Heights would feature two main entrances along Hartsville Pike as well as two connections along Barry Lane, according to plans for the development.
In a letter to city leaders about the project, Sumner County Road Superintendent Judy Hardin wrote that Barry Lane is a narrow road with two curves that would be “adversely and dangerously affected” by additional traffic from the proposed subdivision.
“I beg you not to allow this annexation unless the road is included so that necessary improvements can be required of the owner/developer,” Hardin added. “As it stands now, because it is a county road, we have no leverage to require improvements to the road and the city can’t unless they have jurisdiction over the road.”
Along with the addition of two “pretty robust” turn lanes on Hartsville Pike, developers had agreed to make some type of improvements to Barry Lane but only along the subdivision’s property line, according to project representative Kyle Griffin with planning, engineering and landscape architecture firm CSDG.
If the subdivision was built, more police officers and vehicles would be needed to provide service to the area, according to a staff report from the city’s planning department. All of the proposed new developments in the area will also likely require a new fire station to be built “soon” in order to maintain the city’s existing level of service.
“The owners of the (property) certainly have the right to develop it,” longtime Barry Lane resident J.D. Satterfield told planning commissioners last week. “I just ask for consideration of the existing area that it will adjoin. Larger lots and fewer homes would be best.
“Help us retain the charm and the beauty of our community.”
A total of 461 single-family homes had previously been proposed for the property. However, the number was reduced following a recommendation by the city’s planning staff to increase lot sizes around the perimeter of the development to help create a better transition between nearby neighborhoods.
Griffin noted that the revised plan with 62 fewer homes represented a density of 2.1 units per acre, which was within the acceptable density range for the area described in the city’s current comprehensive development plan.
“This area fits our guidelines for some type of density,” said Gallatin Planning Commission Vice Chairman Matt Harris, who was the only member of the commission to vote in favor of the annexation. “I voted for annexing it so we could have a conversation about the proper way to develop the property, but since we are not recommending the annexation, we’ve lost the opportunity to have the conversation about what is appropriate.”
Following the vote, a representative for the project told officials that they “made the right decision” and that the developers “won’t spend any more money on this project.”
Plans for Hamilton Heights were later officially withdrawn by the applicant, according to officials with the city’s planning department.