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MJ Planning OK's Beckwith Crossing

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MT JULIET -- Mt. Juliet Planning Commission voted Thursday night to give a positive recommendation to the preliminary master plan for Beckwith Crossing after the developers made changes to correct problems which led the panel to deny approval in April.

The changes presented to the commissioners by developers’ spokesman Jason Morelock include cutting the subdivision’s total size from 48.8 to 43 acres and only building 99 single-family homes, also eliminating a proposed bridge across Stoner Creek to reach 11 homes that no longer are planned.

Beckwith Crossing was originally designed for 110 single-family homes on 48.8 acres, which would have required that the development have two entrances. It also was planned to have only 20 feet of setback at the front of the houses instead of the 30 feet that the city usually requires.

But Morelock said the developers have agreed to provide 25 feet of setback, which will provide enough space to park two cars in each driveway without interfering with the sidewalks.

Neighbors of the proposed development had expressed concerns about children in the homes having easy access to a farm pond on adjoining property, but the new plans include a 6-foot-tall board fence along that section of the development.

Morelock said the developers will also build turn lanes on Beckwith Road at the entrance to the subdivision, and they also will provide exterior sidewalks along Beckwith Road.

Residents from neighboring Del Webb at Providence asked that the developer add an extra buffer of trees and shrubs to the side of the development adjoining their area, which the developers also agreed to do.

Nor will adequate sewer service be a problem. Developers will be able to connect to the Mt. Juliet sanitary sewer system since State Attorney General Robert E. Cooper Jr., has ruled in favor of Mt. Juliet’s ability to provide sewer service to the area instead of the tract falling under the jurisdiction of the rural Water and Wastewater Authority of Wilson County (WWAWC), which was a concern of Del Webb residents.

Following Morelock’s presentation, Commissioner Brian Abston said, “The developer has met all the conditions we set, and it’s lower density than Del Webb. I think it’s a good development.”

The five members of the Planning Commission present at the meeting voted unanimously to make a positive recommendation to the City Commission for the project, with four members absent.

Previously, the Planning Commission’s most-discussed concern was Beckwith Crossing’s lack of a second entrance, but with fewer than 100 homes, only one entrance is legally required.

The commission also voted unanimously to recommend approval of a site plan for Primrose School to be located on Belinda Parkway.

The preschool will have an 11,400-square-foot building and share an entrance onto the parkway with the veterinary clinic owned by Ed Hollis.

Vice Chair Lori Landry, presiding in the absence of commission Chair Luke Winchester, said she had concerns about the traffic on Belinda Parkway creating a hazard for the children. But the developer, Ted Tilman, said that since Primrose will be a preschool, its arrival and dismissal times will be staggered and shouldn’t create problems.

Also coming up before the commission was a problem that Speedway has encountered with its plan to build a new store at the northeast corner of Lebanon and Nonaville Roads.

City Planner Bo Logan advised the commission that Speedway had hit a speed bump, so to speak, when trying to arrange to add a sidewalk at the new store.

Logan said that WWAWC officials told Speedway they would not allow a sidewalk closer than 5 feet from their lines, and would prefer 10 feet.

Speedway also has run into problems with the box culvert over the creek that crosses the property and would have problems not damaging the water flow in the creek. Plus, the area involved also has issues with sinkholes.

Logan said the Speedway developers told him the cost would appear to be “prohibitive.”

After some discussion, Landry pointed out that according to the minutes of last month’s meeting, Speedway agreed to build the sidewalk if the utilities agreed to allow it, and since that condition could not be met, the developers couldn’t be required to build the sidewalk.

The Planning Commission also recommended approval of an ordinance, already passed on first reading by the City Commission in April, to only allow pawn shops and payday lending shops in industrial restrictive zones (I-R).

However, Assistant City Attorney Charles Michels explained to the Planning Commission that the new ordinance would not affect existing businesses.

In other action Thursday night, the Planning Commission approved:

Releasing the letters of credit for Providence phase R1, section 1, and Triple Crown phase 2, section 3.

The preliminary plat and final master plan for Triple Crown phase 3, section 1C, on Triple Crown Parkway.

The preliminary plat for Tuscan Gardens, phase 12, on Curd Road.

The final plats for Kelsey Glen phase 2, sections 1A, 3 and 4, on Oxford Drive, Wintergreen Way, and Bedford Bend.

The final plats for Providence Landing at Ellenwood, phase 4, on South Rutland Road, and Providence, phase AC, at Southeast Providence Trail and Belinda Parkway.

Correspondent Connie Esh may be contacted at

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