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City commissioners unanimously approve first reading of Hill Center's bid to rezone

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City commissioners unanimously approve first reading of Hill Center's bid to rezone | Brentwood City Commission,City of Brentwood,Brentwood Home Page,BHP

Artist's rendering of the proposed Hill Center Brentwood development.

Commissioners unanimously passed the first reading of H.G. Hill Realty’s proposal to rezone approximately 17 acres on the corner of Franklin Road and Maryland Way from C-1 to C-2 at Monday's Brentwood City Commission meeting.

The proposal’s next step is a community meeting on June 26 at the Brentwood Library at 6 p.m. The proposal will then will come to the Brentwood Planning Commission on July 7, where they will hear the site plan and vote on whether or not to recommend the city approve it. 

The proposal features 450,000 sq. ft. of office and 150,000 sq. ft. of retail space for the redeveloped Hill Center Brentwood. The primary access points into the development will be at Franklin Road and Chadwick, and Maryland Way and Eastpark Drive. There will also be three additional right-in/right-out access points.

“We worked hard with staff, commissioners and citizens. We had meeting after meeting, and we listened,” H.G. Hill CEO Jimmy Granbery said. “And we heard the majority wanted more options for restaurants and retail.”

Citizens and commissioners mostly voiced concern surrounding the prospect of a hotel to be built at a later phase of construction, which could possibly be utilized for longer stays.

City attorney Roger Horner stated “extended stay” hotels are not permitted under C-2 zoning, which are defined as occupations exceeding 30 days or more. Hotels permitted in C-2 are booked on a “day-by-day” or “week-by-week basis.”

Commissioners, not satisfied by the loose language of the ordinance, resolved to amend the ordinance to better define the terms of a stay. Granbery gave commissioners his word to not commit to the construction of a hotel until the ordinance is adjusted.

Granbery also voiced his company’s desire to use techniques in order harvest storm water with the intention of reducing the use of the city’s water supply. The site currently has no storm water protection.

All storm water protection, buffer zones and traffic improvements will be completed in the first phase, which aims to be complete by fall 2016.

The passing of the ordinance marks the first time the prominent property will be subject to a property tax. The former occupants, Tennessee Baptist Convention, were not subject to the tax under state law. Granbery estimated an extra $498,000 a year toward Williamson County schools.

“This will be our biggest development in the history of our company, so of course we’re committed,” Granbery assured commissioners.

A website dedicated to the developments progress went live Monday, and can be viewed by clicking here.

“I want to thank you for regrouping and taking the citizen’s comments seriously,” Vice Mayor Jill Burgin said.

Mayor Betsy Crossley commended Granbery and his staff for the project’s transparency, as well as bringing a positive addition to the city of Brentwood.

“This could be a really community oriented project,” Crossley said. 

Holt property

Commissioners unanimously passed an agreement to permit conveyance of the 257.8 acre Holt Property on Crockett Road. 

When O'Delle K. Holt passed away in 1993, she willed her one-half interest to her nephew Charles Witherspoon, Jr.

"The will allows Mr. Witherspoon the ability to sell off the property, but provides that this one-half interest in the property, or any remaining proceeds from the sale, would go to the City of Brentwood to establish and/or maintain a public library to be named the 'John P. Holt Library' in honor of her late husband," Horner said.

As of April of this year, Witherspoon intends to sell the land to the Pearl Street Partners, LLC for $12 million.

Because of the city’s stake in the property, the title company asked the city to agree not to interfere with the sale, yet language in the ordinance allows the commission to retain the right approve the development of the project.

To read the full story, click here.

Amendments to Temporary Certificate of Occupancy fees

The proposed ordinance effectively reduces the money the city receives back from temporary occupancy fees after a study better defined the city’s cost handling figure. A temporary occupancy certificate allows a resident to move into a building that still requires minor construction.

“Developers will usually apply for a certificate when the building is 99 percent complete,” City Manager Kirk Bednar said.

Before the approval, when a house met safety codes and a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy was granted, the developer was required to pay $2,000 to insure the finality of construction. If completed within 60 days, the developer received $1,500 back and the remaining $500 went to the city for processing fees.

The fee was originally instituted in 2013 after several developers abandoned projects after a temporary occupancy certificate was granted. Since the fee’s inception, temporary occupancy certificates have fallen 60 percent.

At the Home Builder’s Association of Middle Tennessee's request, the city reevaluated a fair price the city should retain when a developer meets the 60-day deadline. The amendments will increase the developer’s cash back to $1750, leaving the city with $250.

As before, if a developer does not complete construction within 60 days of being issued the certificate, the city retains all the money.

Budget amendments

The board also unanimously approved an amendment to Ordinance 2013-03, the budget appropriations ordinance for the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year.

“A budget amendment is legally required when the total actual expenditures for a fund are expected to exceed the original total appropriation for the fund,” Finance Director Carson Swinford said.

“The need for these amendments are typically identified by staff during the course of the fiscal year and then formally considered by the board one time at the end of the fiscal year to ensure legal compliance,” Swinford added.

To read BHP’s coverage of the fiscal year 2015 budget, click here.

The following items on the consent agenda passed unanimously:

  • A resolution adopting the Williamson County multi-hazard mitigation plan. The natural disaster plan is federally mandated by FEMA, and qualifies the county for federal disaster assistance. The most recent update of the plan was in August 2011.
  • A resolution authorizing an agreement with All Pro Cleaning for services at Ravenswood. As the city begins to hold events at the mansion, the cleaning service will work as needed on a “per event” basis. A $300 cleaning fee is included in any reservation taken at Ravenswood.

The Brentwood City Commission meets at the Brentwood Municipal Center, 5211 Maryland Way.

Staff writer Jonathan Romeo covers the city of Brentwood. Contact him at jonathan@brentwoodhomepage.com.

 

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