In response to Mr. Reams’ letter to the editor in support of the proposed Meadows development, (he) states, “Some of the opposition is coming from people who don’t live anywhere near the proposed development.”
This is true but everyone feels the impact of the irresponsible and uncontrolled growth.
“Construction stimulates the economy.” With 2,000 more vehicles from this development and more tax increases, the economy could feel a negative impact as residents move away because of traffic, crime, rental increases and loss of the quality of life they worked hard to get. And a 142,000 square foot retail space 1.5 miles from the Gallatin downtown square could seriously hurt our merchants.
“Yes, I’m in a good location to benefit financially….just like my neighbors. The Meadows will drive up comps and property values for everyone…..even for the people complaining about it.”
For many, the value is a quality of life they wish for themselves and their children and grandchildren. The Gallatin 2020 Plan states that the city loses 10 football fields of tree canopy and seven football fields of farmland each year. In exchange for nature, Gallatin gets nine football fields of pavement.
With an average listing price of $319,000, the average family income of $49,000 (Gallatin 2020 Plan) isn’t enough to qualify for a mortgage to buy a house. It takes a family income of $87,500 to qualify for what the average listing is currently. The problem with driving up prices for existing property is the owner that sells has to buy a property that has also been driven up in price.
“The Meadows will make the traffic situation better…” The proposed improvement is a turn lane into the development and that’s it. I fail to see how a turn lane alone will handle 2,000 more vehicles on Dobbins Pike. The Meadows marketing also shows a rear connection via a bridge over the CSX railroad tracks and connecting to Old Route 109. It’s questionable whether that will ever happen.
No one has spoken to or obtained an agreement from CSX that will grant an easement. Hendersonville has been trying for a CSX easement over Saundersville Road for 10 years. Do you really want a development housing 3,000 people to have one way in and out? Imagine an accident on Dobbins Pike. A firetruck, ambulance, two police cruisers, and a tow truck respond and the only way in or out is closed to traffic for an hour or more.
With the development Gallatin has already approved, plus the Meadows and Kennesaw's Thorne Creek, there will be about 8,200 new housing units.
It’s time for Gallatin (to) halt this unmanaged growth. The Meadows concept might be the “most livable development….” But it’s at the wrong place, at the wrong time. I hope our city leaders will think hard about the implications and will not be swayed by pretty pictures and promises.