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Beckwith Place passes first reading

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Mt. Juliet city commissioners approved on first reading one of three massive subdivisions planned for south Mt. Juliet, as well as requested city administration to initiate site selection for a new fire station Monday night.

After several months of negotiations with the developer related to conditions the city requested for three subdivisions in the Providence area that will bring 1,000-plus homes, city commissioners approved 4-1 the preliminary master development plan for Beckwith Place at Providence. Commissioner Ray Justice voted no.

The subdivision got a positive recommendation from the planning commission before it came to the city commission.

Formerly known as the Shankle Property, the subdivision will be located on 158 acres at the corner of Beckwith Road and Central Pike. According to CPS Land Development Manager Frank Horton, the subdivision will be built out in six to eight years and eventually have 427 homes.

The developers agree on several conditions related to road improvements in the area, size of the homes and a $2,500 per home fee from the homebuilder.

Commissioners tweaked mandates for the size of the homes Monday night just after they received the specifications from the developer. It was agreed 15 percent of the homes in Beckwith Place will be between 1,400 and 1,500 square feet. Eighty-five percent of the homes will be 1,500 square feet and above, with the average square feet between 2,200 and 2,400 square feet.

The $2,500 per home will go to constructing a right hand turn lane from Belinda Parkway onto Mt. Juliet Road and widening Mt. Juliet Road from Belinda Parkway south to Central Pike. Additionally, a right turn lane off Central Pike onto Mt. Juliet Road was agreed upon.

These, and the installation of a traffic light on Belinda Parkway and Providence Trail, as well as some stop signs (or at minimum some speed bumps) will start when the first building permit is pulled.

Other traffic remedies will take place as the project takes shape.

The subdivisions are all in District 4 Brian Abston's district.

"Negotiations also led to the developer agreeing to not have any equipment or construction traffic on Providence Trail and Rutland Road," said Abston.

Most of the homes will range between $200,000 and $400,000.

"It's a good mix and will be a nice community," said Mayor Ed Hagerty. "There will be walking trails, community center and pool."

The second subdivision on the Baird Farm property is planned for 250 homes. It will go before the Planning Commission Feb. 19. The Cowden property is planned for 450 homes and will go before city planners for approval sometime in March, according to Abston.

Abston said these properties were originally zoned in the county which has fewer restrictions.

"They are not as tough on the developers," Abston said. "Now that the properties are annexed into the city it gives us the ability to work with the developers and address traffic improvements that will help, and with a six to eight year build out, should ultimately reduce traffic problems."

12-week timeline set to find new fire hall location
In other business, commissioners approved a resolution to request the city manager to initiate a site selection process for a new fire station. The goal is to bring all city residents within a five-mile radius of any existing station.

There is already a fire station on Belinda Parkway in the south end, and there is a Mt. Juliet presence in the fire station behind City Hall. Past discussions pinpointed the current Lamb Brothers building on Nonaville Road in north Mt. Juliet. The resolution requests the city manager recommend a specific site for construction of a new fire station within 12 weeks.

Hagerty sponsored the resolution and wants the city manager to "recognize the growth pattern of the city" and said the new station should cover the majority of all current and future residents within five miles.

"I would ask the station be in the northern side of the city," said District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice.

Hagerty said he didn't want the site to be chosen under political considerations, but the new station would "probably" be in the north side.

"It's not about politics," said Justice. "It's life-saving issues."

Hagerty said he didn't want a site chosen "at random" and circles should be drawn on a map to "see who needs it."

Justice said although there may be a five-mile radius to all homes, there could be 37 turns between a home and the nearest station.

Hagerty told him the previous locations chosen "left people out." Justice responded by saying it's been four years and the north end of town "doesn't have the same level of service" as others.

"A 20 cent property tax was enacted for services to be enhanced," he said

He said he didn't think 12 weeks were needed for the city manager to pick a spot. Interim Fire Chief Jamie Luffman said while they have talked about locations other than Nonaville Road, the Lamb Brothers spot would ensure all but 5 percent of the population would be in a five-mile radius.

Commissioner Art Giles chimed in to say he had heard from some real estate agents there might be some other appropriate sites to research. They eventually agreed to a 12-week deadline to hear a site and price from the city manager.

"I ask if something is not done quick, we need more resources in the northern end of town," said Justice. "The property taxes we are paying, too. I have 7,000 constituents who want enhanced fire service."

Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

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development, fire station, Mt. Juliet, subdivision
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