By Kevin Warner
The Franklin Municipal Planning Fee voted late final week to reject a rezoning utility aimed toward bringing a multi-sport complicated together with two ice rinks to town.
The overwhelming majority of three hours’ value of public feedback got here from a well-organized group of Ladd Park residents, a lot of whom confirmed as much as Metropolis Corridor sporting neon inexperienced shirts exhibiting the define of the neighborhood with the slogan “Ladd Park Helps Envision Franklin,” town’s long-term planning doc.
“I’m right here to plead with you on behalf of my household and neighbors to uphold Envision Franklin’s plan of excellence as a good-faith vote in the direction of smart and accountable development for town we love,” resident Megan Theil mentioned earlier than the vote.
Theil went on to provide examples of issues that will be delivered to her and her neighbors’ backdoor steps: noise and lightweight air pollution, a bar promoting alcohol and the problem of elevating school-age youngsters subsequent to a enterprise working late at evening. She says it’s not being what she and her husband signed up for once they purchased their dwelling. Many of the residents who spoke at Metropolis Corridor or referred to as in on the cellphone highlighted a number of of these grievances with the event undertaking proposed by Eric Kaehr of Warhorse Enterprise Companions.
The planning fee’s vote to reject was unanimous, 6-0. Two of of the commissioners voted absent and Chairman Mike Hathaway recused himself.
The Warhorse undertaking plan referred to as for 25 acres of land north of the Williamson County Ag Expo Middle, which borders Ladd Park, and east of a proposed Lengthy Lane bridge over Interstate 65 to be transformed from “single-family residential use” standing to “leisure with particular issues” by way of an modification made to the Envision Franklin planning doc. It might’ve allowed for a 100,000-square-foot, two-story ice rink and 60,000-square-foot fieldhouse for different sports activities. The remainder of the house would’ve been for eating places and retail outlets and a car parking zone for between 600 and 700 automobiles.
The undertaking would’ve constructed the primary ice rink in Williamson County because the closure of A-Sport in Cool Springs in 2016. Supporters of the undertaking pointed to the truth that 85 p.c of the journey hockey gamers within the state stay in Williamson County and at the moment must journey to Bellevue and Antioch for video games and coaching.
Dan McDonald, commissioner of the highschool hockey league, provided his ideas in the course of the assembly on the advantages the complicated would supply for his gamers.
“There are 300 hockey gamers simply in the highschool league alone,” he mentioned. “These children are having to drive to Antioch at 9:30 on a Thursday evening for a follow or a recreation. It isn’t good for his or her tutorial progress. It’s tough on their households and it is harmful.”
Kaehr mentioned in a brief presentation after the feedback from residents that the estimated financial affect of the undertaking totaled round $8 million.
Most of the individuals who spoke in opposition to the proposal acknowledged the necessity for a spot for these actions and the advantages for such a venue however mentioned this was not the fitting place for a facility of the dimensions proposed.