Monday, April 22, 2024
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Council Members Want To Explore Options With Lovelady Road Rezoning

Public outcry about the rezoning of some 107 acres on Lovelady Road has Cookeville City Council wanting to explore potential compromises.

Cookeville Planning Commission approved a rezoning to a higher density designation that could allow for the development of some 337 lots. Council members discussed the decision Monday during a work session in preparation for Thursday’s public hearing.

Planning Director Jon Ward said one compromise could be to create buffer zones.

“I think we’ve done that in other areas, I think we’ve tried to step down densities to provide buffer areas,” Ward said. “We’ll see that in a lot of areas where we’ll have a multi-family then we’ll have a higher density residential on down to a lower density residential. I definitely think that’s possible.”

City Manager James Mills said that the city must define the boundaries of those zones for the developers before the final reading. Ward said that he would speak with developers about possible options to be discussed at Thursday’s public hearing.

Council Member Eric Walker said that he’d heard from some 200 people from letters and petitions about concerns with the rezoning. He said that concerns from residents included increased traffic, pollution and environmental issues, and property value decreasing.

Mayor Ricky Shelton said that in the past 16 years, he’s received more letters on this than any other issue.

“If we can arrive at something that would be this transitional buffer,” Shelton said. “Where it’s either RS-20 or -15 on the side anywhere houses can see, and then go more dense as it gets in there, I think it achieves the same thing. It provides more opportunities for housing but it protects the neighborhood in a very good way. So I would like to work on that and we can all discuss that in some capacity and see what we can achieve.”

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