While many parts of the country have dwindling populations and limited employment opportunities, Gallatin has been truly blessed with sustained growth for nearly a generation. However, we know that growth is not what makes a place great. I believe that it’s how and where to accommodate that growth that makes a community thrive for the long term.
Gallatin adopted land use policies more than 60 years ago that separated the town into a few grand divisions. In one location, you would build houses, in another you would permit commercial activities, and on the edge of town, we put the factories. The site known as Langley Hall, a truly unique parcel, is surrounded by growth on all sides where all of these historic land use policies converge.
We all find a certain comfort when driving by a large tract of land with visible agriculture character. This fact is even more important if that property has acted as a natural barrier between where you live and the industrial plant just a few hundred yards in the distance.
However, beneath the agricultural character of Langley Hall is a hidden truth. This property has a base zoning that permits a broad range of intensive industrial activities. Worse yet, without a zoning action, these activities will inevitably encroach on the neighborhood. For this reason, for me, doing nothing is not an option.
When faced with a challenge, it’s not enough to be against something, it’s about what we support. From the beginning of this process, our team has worked hard with the planning department and the community to establish a responsible framework plan that will take another look at the land use polices established in a previous generation.
I’ve had many hours of conversations with the community in one-on-one discussion and at multiple community meetings. I’m grateful for the support from many of you who understand we are seeking to take the most durable and responsible development path. Throughout the process, we have made a commitment to listening to the feedback of the community and to the greatest extent possible incorporating that into our plan.
Despite our best efforts and the recommendation for approval from planning staff, we know there is additional conversation needed. Please know that we have heard the emotional pleas of some of the neighbors and plan to continue to include balanced feedback in our next development proposal. We remain steadfast in our conviction to responsibly develop this site, and our next proposal will include a framework plan that addresses uses for the entire 147-acre site.
To kick off this process, we will host another community meeting where city official and members of the community will be invited to provide input into the plan. The goal of this discussion will be to create a baseline framework for the responsible development of this property.
If you would like to be kept up to date, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
K. Clay Haynes is the managing member of Oaktree Partners