FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) —There was a time when Bill Short remembered West Franklin without Highway 96.
“This was all farm land in those days,” he said.
Two-hundred acres of farm land is still around Highway 96 near Mack Hatcher Memorial Parkway, owned by Short’s family since the late 1800s.
“We’ve had dairy cows, beef cattle, hogs, two kinds of sheep, every kind of chicken and fowl you can think of,” he said. “So we were growing and sustaining the crops that sustained those animals.”
But highways and development have crept into this part of Franklin, causing the Short family to start thinking about the future of their farm.
“We have our own sensibility about how we want to say goodbye to our home place,” said Short.
The family plans to say goodbye to their traditional farm and transform it into an agrihood.
“It’s actually having agriculture, farming, productive food happening, interwoven throughout the neighborhood, the villages, the hamlets,” said Brian Wright.
The family hired Wright, a development partner, who will help them turn their farm into a community centered around agriculture.
A website was created detailing their plans, along with organizing charrette’s where the community can come out and provide their input.
“Having people being able to be co-authors of this vision and of this plan for the future with us and with the family, it does something different,” said Wright.
Involving the community is something Short said their family wanted as well.
“We wanted to see it used responsibly,” he said. “Sure we could have taken a lot of money at that point, but we asked ourselves driving by here in five years, ten years, ‘Would you be comfortable with what’s happened to it?'”
Half of the land would continue to be a farm, but the other half would transform into a mixed used development filled with homes and businesses.
It’s something our area hasn’t seen before, but Short hopes if everything comes together, it could be a new way for people to look at redeveloping farm land.
“You know if we get this right, it’s possible that this could become a model for how this works with other families and their farms and the communities this effort will eventually serve,” he said.
Wright said their next step is to work to get part of the land rezoned for conservation subdivision and neighborhood mixed use by the end of this year.