Pine Creek Estates, a proposed housing development in Gladeville, has caused concerns for the community, as well as the Wilson County Commission.
Pine Creek Estates would consist of 194 lots for homes, with 61 marked in critical zones or flood plains.
After the Wilson County Commission reviewed the proposal, the county planner sent back a list of 27 questions architects would need to answer before they could proceed with the development.
Commissioner Clint Thomas, who lives in the area, said flooding on the property was his biggest concern.
“There’s a creek that runs through the property area, and there are, from what I understand, several sinkholes and wet weather springs,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the area floods easily when it rains, and beginning the building process would only worsen the issue when dirt and earth starts move.
“Where’s the water going? If there’s already a problem, when you go to fill up the sinkholes and what not it’s just going to make matters worse,” Thomas said.
The first proposal for the development was sent back to the developers from the county Planning Commission, and it chose to defer in order to get the county’s questions answered.
“One of the things that caused concern for me in the very first draft was that there were no retention ponds or anything like that where the water could gather and then be slowly released,” Thomas said. “Another thing that struck me were the sinkholes and the fact that there’s 194 proposed lots and out of those 61 are located in a flood plain itself. To me that is really irresponsible.”
Thomas said he felt that it was reckless to build in a flood plain because of the effects it could have on the future tenants.
“I don’t want someone to come and buy one of these houses and not know about the flooding issues and not get insurance or then get into the reselling process and not be able to sell,” Thomas said.
A meeting was held July 24 where the engineers for the development could explain their plans to the public and answer any concerns. For the second week in a row the architects had scheduling conflicts and could not make it to the community meeting.
Thomas said the architects voluntarily pulled the development from the last commission meeting so the public could have this meeting. He felt they’ve worked well with the county to fix their issues in their newly submitted plan.
Wilson County Stormwater Director John Dewaal attended the meeting in an advisory capacity in order to answer any general questions.
“I’ve met with the developers on the ground and raised my own questions with them,” Dewaal said. “We’re going to require that additional studies be done on flooding in greater detail to give us a better, more precise and accurate flooding picture.”
Dewaal said the county would need more exact work done before any other phase beyond phase one could even be considered.
“The only reason we’re considering phase one is because those lots are on higher ground,” Dewaal said. “I recommended that the two lots that aren’t as high be removed and not approved under phase one until the new study is done.”
Phase one consists of the first 32 of the 194 lots of the development, but would become 30 lots if they were to remove the two lots recommended by Dewaal.
Dewaal also said that sinkholes were a definite issue in the land for the proposed development.
“We’ve found several sinkholes but we didn’t find all of them,” Dewaal said. “Before they can move beyond phase one the developers are going to have to do a more detailed report including boring into the ground into the underground stream.”
Dewaal said that he didn’t find any sinkholes along Mires Road on the road frontage so that was another reason he didn’t have a concern for phase one.
“Right now the only thing we’ve recommended is phase one which is on higher ground and in the road frontage and they are not affected by the sinkholes or flooding that would be a factor later with some of the other houses,” Dewaal said.
Thomas said that phase one has not yet been approved and that the developers will submit their next proposal to the Planning Commission to be on their agenda for the Aug. 16 meeting at 11 a.m.
The final proposal has to be approved by the Planning Commission before developers can begin anything.
The Planning Commission meets every third Friday of the month at 11 a.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse.