The gracious white, antebellum Southern manor by the side of Highway 231, about 11 miles south of Lebanon, is a familiar sight to Wilson Countians with its two-story porch pillars, arched windows and, of course, its cedar trees.
Inside, the manor built by Newborn Jennings (1832-1875) shortly before the Civil War has a trap door, underground tunnel, and stairway mural that enhances its historic mystique, renovators discovered back in the 1990s, according to a "Tennessee Crossroads" TV segment that was aired back in 2010.
But now Cedar Vine Manor has a new name - Legacy Farms - and its current owners, Jerry and Kellie Bryson, have requested that the property be rezoned from agricultural to planned commercial (C-4) to fit its proposed uses.
Planners recommend it
On Friday morning, their request took its first step toward approval when the Wilson County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the rezoning be approved by the Wilson County Commission at its March regular meeting, scheduled for March 16.
After years of operating as a bed and breakfast and social event site under conditional use variances, the historic 22-acre property at 8061 Murfreesboro Road (US 231) would be appropriately rezoned C-4 in keeping with its proposed uses, County Planning Director Tom Brashear said.
The historic manor has been used for a variety of events including weddings, picnics and retreats, but it has always been zoned agricultural, with conditional uses allowed by the Wilson County Board of Zoning Appeals beginning back in 1997.
Historic, social uses
However, Jerry Bryson said he wants the property to have a zoning that makes clear what uses would and would not be allowed there, both now and in the future.
Brashear agreed that the rezoning would be a good idea, saying that it would be in keeping with the actual uses which the property has had. C-4 zoning will cover most of the activities which currently are going on there, he said.
Certainly, the manor has had a variety of uses over the past 150-plus years. At one point it was the home of Wilson County Sheriff J. D. Jennings, Newborn's son. It also served as a convalescent home for Civil War veterans and later, a doctor's office, according to the 2010 segment narrated by Tressa Bush on public television's "Tennessee Crossroads."
The oldest building on the property is a log cabin originally erected in 1832 in Rutherford County and reassembled, log by numbered log, when it later was moved to Cedar Vine - now Legacy Farms.
But change is a constant thing, it seems, and the Brysons with their rezoning request and reassurances about its proposed uses are another example of something new coming to something old.
The Brysons' plan includes ending events by 10 p.m. instead of the 11 p.m. curfew that had been included in some of the conditional use documents. They also are proposing a cap on the number of people and vehicles which can be on the property, as well as limits on the volume of noise.
Subdivisions also OK'd
In other action Friday, the planning commission also approved a preliminary plat for Karlee Plantation between Buckshot Court and Mann Road. The property, which contains 28.32 acres, will include 11 lots.
The Cora Cox property on Vesta Road was also approved for subdivision into three lots.
The property contains 5.01 acres.
Writer Connie Esh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.