LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Dr. Bill Robertson is a long-time resident of Wilson County.
“I don’t think anybody’s opposed to growth. But it needs to be done in a constructive way so it benefits everyone,” he said. “In our particular area in North Wilson County, because we haven’t had a lot of planning up to this point, the infrastructure is not there to support large developments.”
Yet large developments move in anyway filling the demand of those drawn to the area.
“The gain that they hope to make is really at the expense of our individual lives and our families’ lives and the safety of our family and our community,” Robertson said.
The county’s planning director explained the current census has Wilson County at roughly 148,000 residents with a projected growth of 100,000 more people by 2045. Current plans don’t account for that dramatic spike according to Jerry McFarland, 5th District Commissioner in Wilson County.
“Our land-use plan was developed in 2006, with the theory it would go out to 2035. In about 2008 or 10, we started exploding,” McFarland said. “Subdivisions on every corner, commercial buildings, townhouses.”
A decade later and the building boom still barrels forward with current residents bearing the burden.
“We don’t have the stormwater management, flooding is an issue in a lot of places. These big developments come in, and they lay down asphalt and a lot of houses, all that water’s got to go somewhere. And it’s putting other homes at risk,” Robertson said.
“We’re getting local flash flooding, two feet of water in somebody’s garage or up in their ductwork onto their house,” Commissioner McFarland agreed.
Residents have a chance to change course Tuesday, April 12, at Carroll-Oakland School from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Residents can review maps and make suggestions on how they’d like to see the current land use plan updated.
“What I’ve been told is that more people come into these meetings that are developers than the citizens,” Robertson said with concern. “Tuesday is an opportunity to really speak to the council members about what we as citizens feel like needs to happen with our growth moving forward.”