MT. JULIET – Some Mt. Juliet lakeside residents don’t want condos in the area and loudly objected to the idea Monday night to the Mt. Juliet City Commission.
While the issue of city employees approved to bring guns in trunks on city property seemed to be a hot topic Monday night, an irate crowd of neighbors opposed to a proposed lakeside Mt. Juliet condo project superseded that issue.
Chambers were packed at Monday’s city commission meeting with those mostly opposed to a proposed condominium project slated for Saundersville Road in Mt. Juliet.
The project would bring 30 four-story condos called Cedar Creek Pointe on 2.16 acres near the lake.
Those objecting waited in line to oppose the project during the citizens’ comments portion before the meeting.
According to City Planner Steve Foote, last month the planning commission gave a nod to the project. However, he said city staff did not approve or turn down the project.
“Our staff has not recommended, or recommended the project,” he said.
The ordinance to annex the acreage into Mt. Juliet and rezone from county R-1 to the city RN-16 overlay was unanimously deferred Monday night after dozens of neighbors in the area strongly objected to the course of action.
Foote said city staff voiced concerns about the height of the condos and possible traffic concerns.
Dozens of neighbors in the area took to the podium to voice their concerns.
They talked about traffic concerns and the height of the condos overtaking their views and sense of space and countryside peace.
The project is slated to an area close to a marina; on a dead end road that has a recreation area and campsite location that was described as “small and quaint,” by an area resident.
“Everything is good, and it’s a country atmosphere,” said Mike McCoy. “If this goes through, what else will?”
Sam Sanders said he sold his daughter property in the area.
“I feel compassion for them,” he said. “I’m not against progress, but this defies that definition. This is a tranquil cove.”
Others worried about the wildlife in the area that may be displaced with the development.
The area of concern is in Commissioner Ray Justice’s district. He agreed to defer a vote on the project and called for a meeting with the property owners and the developer of the project.
There was a resounding “no” from those in attendance. Justice called for calm and said the property owner “has the right to develop,” there, but asked to defer one meeting so everyone could get together.
Michael Maness, the architect for the development, faced the crowd of objectors. He said the planning commission “green lighted” the project. He said the property owners concern with 80-feet plus condos was not the case, but at the highest level would be about 74 feet. He said a professional traffic study said there would be “no impact” on traffic in the area.
“But, we are happy to consider a solution that will be best for everyone,” said Maness.
A meeting was scheduled for Monday between Maness and homeowners in the area. And first reading on the issue was deferred until Sept. 23.
“Let’s see if a dialogue can be formed with informed citizen input,” said Mayor Ed Hagerty.
In other business, commissioners unanimously voted to buy Joy Church for $1.5 million in $300,000 payments over five years as a space for the Mt. Juliet Police Department.
They also deferred an ordinance to allow city employees with valid handgun permits to bring a gun onto work premises in their car. The original sponsor of the ordinance, Art Giles, wanted the word “weapon” in the ordinance to be clarified.
This issue will be addressed Sept. 23.