The Sumner County Commission recently voted 18-5 to approve the rezoning of 28.65 acres of property between Gallatin and Hendersonville for use as an indoor ice center.
Jeremy Mansfield, Jerry Becker, Mo Taylor, Merrol Hyde and Terry Wright cast the no votes.
The development would be located at the intersection of Gallatin Road and Shute Lane, across from Jack Anderson Elementary School.
A motion to refer the request back to the planning commission failed by a 17-5 vote.
Some commissioners expressed concerns over future traffic and whether the additional items intended as part of the project are necessary. The 50-acre project is scheduled to include 60,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant space along with a four-story hotel and 76 condominiums.
“I’m confused on how there’s a press conference tomorrow basically celebrating the passage of this tonight when we haven’t discussed or voted on it,” said Mansfield. “There’s no reason to have residential as part as any of these processes. These planners and developers don’t have to deal with traffic, noise pollution.”
Commissioner Billy Geminden countered.
“We listened to the concerns, and the developer addressed those concerns,” Geminden said. “Each phase of this will go back before the planning commission.”
Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt said that the widening of Shute Lane would be done by the developer and noted that the city of Gallatin has already approved the plan from its own perspective.
“There’s no residential in what you’re considering tonight,” Holt said. “This is one of the most desirable requests I’ve seen in a long time.”
Holt added that the property owners had agreed to donate three acres to the county, which would allow for a future expansion of Jack Anderson Elementary, which is near capacity now.
“It’s real value for the taxpayers,” Holt said. “If we have to add on, that three acres will be invaluable to the county.”
On May 18, the Nashville Predators announced that the 100,000-square foot facility, to be known as the Goat Farm, would be the fourth location in Middle Tennessee created by the National Hockey League (NHL) team and Sabertooth Sports & Entertainment, LLC, to help grow the sport of hockey locally.
The Ford Ice Center in both Antioch and Bellevue are already operating, and a Clarksville facility is scheduled to open in 2022-23.
The ice center is intended to contain two rinks built to NHL standards, public and private locker rooms, a weight room and hockey pro shop, among other amenities. The facility is designed to host hockey tournaments, as well as on-ice events and competitions, and allow the Predators to offer programs such as learn-to-skate youth and adult hockey.
“This event center will create numerous opportunities for our young people and families that are passionate about this growing and vibrant sport,” Holt said at a press conference on Tuesday. “I would like to thank the Nashville Predators organization for their involvement in branding this facility that will enhance Sumner County’s ability to attract visitors and showcase the many amenities our county has to offer. This facility will enrich the quality of life for our citizens and set our county apart as a regional destination.”
Predators President and CEO Sean Henry added in a press statement, “Since we first opened Ford Ice Center Antioch in 2014, we’ve been able to see the benefits of our public-private partnerships come to life, from the economic impact to the growth of youth and adult hockey. As we move forward with this development in Sumner County, we want to thank county leadership, the cities of Gallatin and Hendersonville, Stratos Development, Randy and Alex Smith and the NHL and NHLPA (NHL Players Association) for helping turn what once was a vision of expansion in the Middle Tennessee community into a reality in the near future.”
Also approved was the application of Sumner County to be a designated voting center county and a proposal from the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding construction on Long Hollow Pike at Upper Station Camp Creek Road.
The commission also approved the transfer of $500,000 from the general purpose school fund to the federal projects fund, accepting $52,400.81 as pass-through funds for state inmate medical reimbursement, appropriating $69,058 from a 2019 Homeland Security Grant and $112,038 from a 2020 grant for the Emergency Management Agency.
Commissioners also approved by a 21-2 vote the appointment of Jim Harrison to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Harrison replaces Matt Stamper, who resigned from the board.
Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or email@example.com. Contributing: Staff reports