WILLIAMSON CO., Tenn. (WKRN) — Greenery as far as the eyes can see, hills picturesque against the sky, and the quiet hum of country life has brought many families to love the town of Nolensville. But, some now fear their quality of life will be threatened by a new proposed development.
“Myself and my neighbors moved here because it is a quiet and safe community. After school and on the weekends, you will find kids riding bikes in the street and playing ball in the cul-de-sac on Norwegian Red Drive,” said Brett Tweedie. His family owns one of the 86 homes nestled in The Farm at Clovercroft community.
Adjacent to their neighborhood sits an almost empty piece of farmland – prime real estate spot – that has attracted developers.
OHM Advisors has presented the city with a proposal to build Four Springs. The planned mixed-use development, which includes custom homes, townhouses, a family destination resort, outdoor activities as well as restaurants and shops, would be located on the 277 acre tract along Clovercroft Road and McFarlin Road.
The plan has several phases laid out. A village district that includes a mix of commercial and town houses that are pedestrian friendly. Single-family and multi-family homes that will have a Modern Farmhouse style to them. And, the Lodge at Four Springs, which will also include cabins, glamping and tree houses.
“This site lends itself extremely well to activating a beautiful hilltop with a hidden community for all lifestyles,” said Nolensville Mayor and Board of Commissioner Derek Adams. “The master-planned farmhouse design is going to be top quality and would be a great addition to Nolensville.”
Mayor Adams said currently, Nolensville doesn’t collect any Hotel Tax revenue. This development would be the first step in a long-term fiscal solvency of the town.
“All of this revenue must be dedicated to tourism, which is something we’d like to have revenues to focus on.” He added, “Sprawling neighborhoods are proven to not be fiscally solvent. The addition of a high-quality and well designed commercial space in addition to the hotel-type space brings in more revenue than a stand-alone subdivision.”
With the possibility of hundreds of new families moving to the area and thousands of visitors a day, Tweedie said his neighborhood will dramatically change, especially when it comes to traffic.
“My and my neighbors quality of life should not be sacrificed by the developer or Town of Nolensville so they can pack as many homes with commercial and event space into this development,” he said.
According to a traffic impact study conducted by the developer, 2,802 daily trips are expected from just the residents of Four Springs.
“All of these trips drive past the Norwegian Red Drive connection and many will use that connection to avoid driving through the commercial area as they go to access Clovercroft Road,” Tweedie explained.
He and his neighbors have this request of Board of Commissioners as they review the proposed development: “We request that they make changes to their plan and eliminate any request to connect to Norwegian Red Drive in any manner. We understand that this property will be developed, all we ask is for no connection to our community and for them not to impact our quality of life and the safety of our kids.”
Mayor Adams said that road is a county road, and Williamson County would have to make the decision. “Connectivity to a municipality is always preferred because it helps distribute traffic over a network of streets instead of focusing all traffic onto the major roads.” He added a possible compromise would be an emergency-only gate.
Additionally, Mayor Adams pointed out that right now those living on Crovercroft already has to drive everywhere. “This commercial space offers a walkable alternative to several existing and future neighborhoods, which helps distribute traffic around town and not all focused on Nolensville Road.”
The proposal has been reviewed by the Planning Commission. In April, they decided to not recommend it in its current state. There have been several suggested amendments.
“With a reconfiguration of the commercial space, removing the drive-through, increasing the 1 acre lots, and 55+ age-restricting the smaller lots, I can definitely see myself voting for this. The other Commissioners will also have their opportunity for input and amendments as well,” said Mayor Adams.
If the plan gains the approval of the BOC, then it could create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. And, Mayor Adams said it will give the public access to some stunning country views.
“We all love the beautiful rolling hills along Clovercroft. Why not gain the ability to hike to the top and experience the views? The developer has committed to donating 30 acres of largely undisturbed parkland,” said Mayor Adams.
So much goes into planning and executing a new development. Tweedie said neighbors are worried that the process will be rushed without due diligence.
Misinformation surrounding projects is common, Mayor Adams responded. “No proposals are being rushed. If anything, they are being delayed much longer than the standard process. The Darsey Project, which includes a Kroger, took nearly 14 months from start to finish. The standard process should only take around 4 to 6 months. We have a responsibility to fairly consider all proposals when they come through the pipeline.”
While the vision for the property moves away from the town’s commitment to “Town and Country”, Mayor Adams said if developers address community concerns and collaborate, then it’s a win for the town and neighbors.
The Four Springs development will be reviewed by the Board of Commissioners Thursday, May 5.
A consideration for rezoning the property on Clovercroft from an Estate Residential to a Planned Development has been put on the agenda.
Thursday will also be the first reading of the resolution to approve the Four Springs mixed-use development.
“My hope is the BOC will review and take to heart the comments of their own Planning Commission as well as those of homeowners that will be impacted by this development as they make their decisions at this Thursday’s BOC meeting,” Tweedie stated, adding he and other community members that share his concerns plan to be at the meeting.
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A public hearing will be allowed on the project after its first reading.
News 2 has reached out to Four Spring developers for comment and have not heard back at this time.