Saturday, May 12, 2007

March 20 Council Meeting

At the next council meeting (part 9/at 9:40 and part 10) they started out with Loring giving a committee report (Planning Commission). He said that they had approved this project 8-0. In fact, they approved 6-4. (Surely, he had it written down in front of him.)

Then Mr. White says:

“I’d like to get this passed on second reading and then defer it on 3rd reading
indefinitely in order for the developers and the community to get back together
again and see if there’s any way they can work anything out on what the both of
them want.”

Then there was a motion to pass and it was seconded.

Mr. White wanted to make sure that the council knows all the facts:

“The bill that’s before us right now is an amendment bill RS-2007-022. The original bill for MUL zoning was begun in 2005 and was passed in 2006 by planning and by the council and stands as MUL. I made the developer at that time to go and talk to all the neighbors, which is five houses that connect with the property. And, and a store across the street and a CPA firm across the street. And a house on that. We didn’t have anybody objecting to it. But, I told the developer that he had to have a public meeting at least one. The developer couldn’t get to the community center, to the police department so he rented a tent. And, had a tent put on the lot. And, we had signs and we ran an ad in the local community Herald newspaper announcing this meeting. And, nobody showed up. Nobody has called me with any regard to the MUL zoning that was being done. Signs were posted for the Sept. planning community meeting and nobody showed. Same thing at the council public hearing meeting. Nobody showed. I found out about this amendment two months ago. This bill was passed MUL and done and over with and I hadn’t even thought about it. Then, I get a notice from planning that says this PUD is being amended by a new owner. I contacted the previous man that I had asked to do all this for. He said that the people that were originally planned to do the building on this property the deal fell through and they ran out of money. And, he had so much money tied up into it that he had to sell it. So he sold it to another group who in turn wanted to put a medical office building on this lot of three stories. And place it in the center of the lot. Now we met with Mr. Rick Bernheart, myself, Mr. Loring, two other staff members from planning, and two members of the Hermitage neighborhood association in the conference room at the planning department two months ago. And, the question was asked by the developer then, ‘Can we build a three story building on this lot?’ Mr. Bernhart said ‘because of the MUL that has been approved and passed you can put a three story building on there. Because you can make a 10% variance to do that.’ And, Mr. Bernhart says and I quote him, ‘I will approve
that.’ So the only left for us to do then, which Mr. Bernhart was insistent that we put the building on the edge of the road. But the insistence from the developer was that he wanted to put the building in the middle of the lot in order to get more patient parking and more handicap parking and all. And, so that’s why this amendment was filed. This amendment was filed with the planning commission and I did not have any community meeting on this second round on this amendment, but there was one for the council and for the planning committee that held it. We have since; I attended a community meeting last week. And, I’ve asked Mr. Bernhart’s department if they would tonight express and tell what this bill that we’re trying to do what it is and what it has nothing to do with it. So if I could I’d like to ask…” (stream cut off)

The planning commission member went on to say that they didn’t have concerns about the height. The only issue from their side is the position of the building. Mr. White closes by reading the resolution, passed by the planning commission. He reads,

“The proposed changes to the PUD plan is consistent with the Donelson-Old Hickory Community Plan’s Mixed Use in Neighborhood Center which is intended to encourage an integrated, diverse blend of compatible land uses.”

Mr. White ends with:

“I have not tried to keep this council in the dark on anything with regards to
this amendment. And, I want to make sure that ya’ll all understand that because I feel like my character and integrity and has been challenged over this one minor thing.

He restates his motion to approve and defer the 3rd reading so as he previously stated “the developers and the community to get back together again and see if there’s any way they can work anything out on what the both of them want.”

Okay!!! Are you ready for my comments???? We’ll start at the end this time…

  • Even though White’s last statement claimed that he wasn’t trying to keep the council in the dark, he knowingly omitted reading the last sentence in the planning commission resolution:
"While the site design is not consistent with Dodson Village DNDP, it will
provide easier access for customers and patients.”

If that’s not keeping folks in the dark I don’t know what is. Again, you can see the exact copy here.

  • That community meeting where the developers rented the tent….
    Mr. White and the developers rented a tent and put it beside the bait shop. The only notification was in “The News Herald”. The News Herald is a free paper that covers, Donelson, Hermitage and Old Hickory. It is not delivered to Hermitage Meadows, where I live, along with 115 other homeowners. The notification of the meeting was in the paper on the day of the meeting. Pastor David Taft told us that “The News Herald” was delivered to his church at 4:30pm the day of the meeting. The meeting was at 6:30pm. Too bad he didn’t have a chance to read it that day. Maybe he could have canceled his plans and attended the "community meeting”

  • That meeting that Mr. Rick Bernheart, Mr. White, Mr. Loring, two other staff members from planning, and two members of the Hermitage neighborhood association… Those two members of the community, Bobbie Forrest and Jane Garner weren’t allowed to speak.

  • Toward the end White says that he attended a community meeting last week… He forgets to mentioned that every homeowner (that lived in our area, not including the one(s) from other areas that work for somebody in the Pardue posse) was against this building!!!!!! He forgot to mention that it was OUR meeting and that his job is to have the meetings and help his constituents.

  • He feels like his character and integrity has been compromised over this one minor thing… For us, this is not minor. If this building goes up it will set a precedent. Our close-knitt, small scale community will become exactly what White and Loring plan: A medical office park. I don’t want to live in a medical office park!!!

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