Local developer balances growth with conservation

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – In the midst of so much growth in and around Nashville, a local developer is prioritizing conservation.

Along Granny White Pike, you’ll find more than 60 acres of new homes surrounded by 100-year-old trees.

“Trying to keep some trees and try to keep it like it was 50 years ago,” said Shannon Pollard, developer of the Voce property.

It’s a rare mix of old and new when it comes to development in an ever-growing Nashville.

“When we started this, we knew we would have to find 50 unique families that understood our mission and understood what we were trying to do,” said Pollard.

That mission was inspired by Pollard’s grandfather, country music icon Eddy Arnold who loved nature.

“We would walk around up here because it was really pretty and that’s where he and I would really talk about his vision for this property,” said Pollard.

That vision is to save as many trees as possible.

“We know we can’t save every single tree, but we can analyze each situation on a one-by-one basis,” said Pollard.

Pollard said the process began with tree surveys to identify those critical to the property – about 500 in total.

Interested buyers must go through a design process to determine the footprint of the custom home on the lot.

“People can put houses next to trees, but if they’re not concerned about how that’s going to impact in 10 years, you’ve lost the battle,” said Pollard.

It’s rare that a tree is removed.

“We have a tree bank that we established so if you do have to take one tree out, you have to put one tree back in somewhere else,” said Pollard.

Other priorities include limiting light pollution with the Dyer Observatory nearby and shared driveways to again, minimize impact on the land.

“Hopefully what would happen is other developers in this area would also take note and do something that hopefully would be more common than it was 10 years ago,” said Pollard.

FUN FACT: During construction, crews discovered a cemetery on the property.

“When cutting the road in, one of the back hoes hit a casket,” said Pollard.

In total seven caskets were found – five adults and two children.

Pollard said crews had to stop all construction.

They then went to an archaeologist, the state, and court system.

Because the development emphasizes tree conservation, the cemetery was moved 25 yards away to make way for the road.

After research, Pollard traced the significance of the bodies.

“We’re 99.9-percent sure that they’re descendants of Thomas Cox and he was one of the signers of the Cumberland Compact, which helped to establish Nashville,” said Pollard. “And so he I think owned about 1,000 acres, which included this parcel that went to one of his daughters, when he passed away in 1830s.”

Pollard said a historical marker will go up by the end of the year or beginning of 2020.

If you’d like to check out the cemetery, it sits on Windy Ridge Drive.

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