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October 10, 2013

Old Hillsboro Road homeowners seek down-zoning to ward off development

Old Hillsboro Road homeowners

Old Hillsboro Road homeownersFRANKLIN — Outrage about a 20-home development proposed for Old Hillsboro Road may have subsided somewhat since last month’s county planning commission, but neighbors haven’t moved on just yet.

Some resolution could come Thursday night when commissioners vote on a second bundle of requests from Old Hillsboro homeowners to “down-zone” the zoning designations of 10 properties along the winding two-lane road.

Owners want to reduce how many homes could one day be built on their properties by changing their various zoning designations to a Rural Preservation 5 designation, which allows one unit to be built per five acres. In the long term, the down-zonings would potentially keep more of its rolling hills and horse farms intact as more development occurs.

Commissioner Mary Brockman says she expects even more down-zoning requests to come to planning commissioners in November because of homeowners’ interest in the move.

“(The down-zoning has) shown me the community was galvanized about this,” Brockman said. “Everybody cares deeply about rural preservation on Old Hillsboro Road.”

The change is a continuation of Old Hillsboro Road property owners pushing back in September against developer Bob Parks’ plans to build his 20-home Hillsboro Cove development on a 34-acre parcel. Neighbors spoke out against the development, starting the SaveOldHillsboro.com website and putting out signs opposing Parks’ development along the road.
No work started

Though Parks’ plans won preliminary approval, allowing early site work to begin, no work has begun yet on Hillsboro Cove and a final plat approval still has to be approved.

Joe Horne, county community development director, said Parks has not yet applied to the county for a land disturbance permit, which crews need to begin work.

When it comes to down-zonings, Horne could remember some notable instances from the late 1980s, citing down-zoning requests from homeowners in the Peytonsville community and elsewhere.

But the county fields fewer of these requests than they do requests that would allow owners to add more homes on their properties.

“It’s not the normal way to go,” Horne said.

County planning commissioners meet at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Williamson County Administrative Complex on West Main Street in Franklin.

Contact Kevin Walters at kewalters@tennessean.com or 615-771-5472