The Willows Development Request Withdrawn From Agenda

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The Willows development, a potential 105 housing unit, proposed by local developer Bill Hall, was withdrawn from Pleasant View Planning Commission’s Agenda on Tuesday, November 22, after many local residents spoke out in opposition of the development. Hall was requesting a lot size variance of 60 feet between the housing units. The standard regulation in Pleasant View is 75 feet between units.

The proposed housing units would be built on the 18.20 acres adjacent to Pleasant View Community Park and consist of 105 units, 80 town homes and 25 single-family homes. Keller Williams Realtor and wife of Developer Bill Hall stated the town homes were anticipated to sell for approximately $150 to $200 thousand dollars and the single-family homes were estimated at $220 to $260 thousand dollars, each depending upon size and amenities.

Residents weren’t concerned with the lot size variance application request. They didn’t want the development allowed in Pleasant View, some even stating they’d move if the city grew.  Those in opposition argued the roads and schools couldn’t handle the growth. Many were concerned with the types of people a housing unit development with rental properties would bring into the community and if it would depreciate the value of nearby homes. Others argued such a development near a public park with children heavily populated during the week with soccer, little league football, cheerleading practices and games on weekends would hinder the safety of children and families at the park.

Local resident, Jennifer Herstek, lives across from the proposed property site in West Ridge Subdivision.  She opposed the housing units stating Pleasant View Road was to narrow and infrastructure for this type of growth needed to be in place prior to considering more subdivisions or growth on properties along the roadway.

Chair Dan Small allowed several attendees to speak but had to limit the number of speakers due to time restraints and repetitive concerns in opposition of The Willows development voiced.

Developer Bill Hall developed Harris Farms thirteen years ago.  He questioned board members why the lot size variance was an issue when the same request had been approved in Winfrey Court of Harris Farms.  He further stated Harris Farms had brought quality community members, met a need within the city and the housing development was of quality standards, benefiting many local families.  According to Hall Harris Farms Community Development, also met opposition from local residents who questioned whether or not the roadways, schools and community could handle the additional growth.

Commissioner and local realtor Stephen Carr addressed Hall, confirming Harris Farms and other properties were quality developments. He told Hall he didn’t think the commission was at a point where they could accept or reject the request, needing more time to evaluate and discuss the development after hearing local opposition.

Janet Hall stated the development would meet a growing need in a market where people wanted a place to rent with conveniences. Many young adults, newly married couples, first time homebuyers, empty nesters or individuals going through divorces didn’t want large homes.

Residents voicing opposition to The Willows development worried it would bring lower class individuals into the community. Janet Hall explained the town homes in The Village were bought then rented by individuals and it had served well for the community, bringing quality individuals looking for a place to reside in between Clarksville and Nashville. She stated many of the renters were career driven, some engineers, doctors and lawyers but they weren’t ready to settle down with a purchased home yet.

The market for smaller housing unit developments would meet the needs of local young adults wanting to reside locally, eventually purchasing to raise a family and stay near family within Pleasant View.  Currently the community lack homes to meet the needs up and coming homebuyers and /or renters.

Pleasant View is settled between two of Tennessee’s largest and rapidly growing cities, which will challenge future growth and development. Residents have questioned why Pleasant View doesn’t have more restaurant and shopping options. Developers who’ve looked at Pleasant View, such as Publix, have stated there weren’t enough rooftops to sustain business and generate revenue.  Decisions regarding the types of growth, allowing developments and future infrastructure will be on city and county agendas as long as developments and growth progresses in neighboring communities, challenging not only Pleasant View but the county.

Developer Bill Hall intends to review The Willows development and resubmit another application but it is unknown when he will resubmit or whether he will adhere to the standard lot variance regulation or submit an application request another lot size variance.

The next Planning Commission meeting will be on December 13, at 6:00 p.m. at Pleasant View City Hall. The community is encouraged and welcomed to attend.
-Tonya Steele

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