A 215-lot residential development planned for Morehead Road in southern Warren County and opposed by many of its neighbors will move forward.
Warren Fiscal Court’s six magistrates, meeting Friday via Zoom teleconference, all voted to approve a rezoning that gives the go-ahead for developer Barrett Hammer to proceed with the subdivision planned for a 48-acre tract near Nashville Road.
The vote came after the magistrates heard from a representative of residents along Morehead Road and from Hammer’s attorney in a hearing held before the fiscal court meeting.
Emily Graham, who lives on Cleveland Drive near the proposed development, filed the notice of opposition that prompted Friday’s hearing.
Speaking Friday, Graham told magistrates that she had spoken with many of her neighbors and found that “everyone of them is in agreement that this is not good for our neighborhood.”
As she and others did at the Oct. 1 City-County Planning Commission of Warren County meeting during which Hammer’s development was approved in a 9-2 vote, Graham pointed out Friday that the homes planned for the subdivision aren’t compatible with many of the homes along Morehead Road.
Hammer’s development plan calls for a maximum of 215 homes, each with at least 1,200 square feet of living space and two-car garages.
The development will connect to the 42-lot McLellan Crossings subdivision that Hammer is developing and is described in the rezoning application as an extension of that development.
While it may be compatible with McLellan Crossings, Graham said that doesn’t mean Hammer’s new development is in sync with the rest of the area.
“We’re concerned about insufficient road infrastructure out here for additional homes,” she said. “This development doesn’t fit with Morehead Road.”
Although the homes planned for the development are smaller than many of the homes along Morehead Road, attorney Kevin Brooks argued on Hammer’s behalf that the subdivision meets a need in a housing market with current low inventories.
“Fiscal court has had a policy of fostering economic progress,” Brooks said. “That policy calls for more housing. The question is, where do we put it? This seems like a natural area for more housing. This is not a remote location. This is right where there’s already development.”
Brooks countered Graham’s concerns about the impact on traffic, pointing out that the development will have four ways in and out.
“Having multiple access points is good planning for public safety and flow of traffic,” Brooks said. “This is the way you need to do developments.”
A motion by Fifth District Magistrate Mark Young to deny Graham’s appeal passed 5-1, with Sixth District Magistrate Ron Cummings casting the lone dissenting vote.
After the hearing, all magistrates voted to rezone the 48 acres from agriculture to single-family residential.
The magistrates approved another high-density residential development on first reading during Friday’s meeting, voting 5-1 to approve rezoning 92 acres along Moorman Lane in the northern end of the county from agriculture, residential estate and heavy industrial to single-family residential.
Only Fourth District Magistrate Rex McWhorter voted against rezoning the property. The vote cleared the way for builder Jody Allen to develop a 330-lot subdivision.
Seven residents of the Moorman Lane area spoke against the development at the Oct. 15 planning commission meeting, but the rezoning passed that body with an 11-0 vote.
“This has become a heavily populated area,” McWhorter said at Friday’s meeting. “This concerns me. Maybe we need to first develop the infrastructure on Moorman Lane.”
Among other items approved by the magistrates Friday:
- Spending $17,250 for Allen Mansfield to add metal railing and caging to the upper tiers of housing units A, B and D at the Warren County Regional Jail.
- Spending $35,770 for Scotty’s Contracting and Stone to repair and resurface parking lots for the Hadley, Browning and Woodburn volunteer fire departments.
- A change order of $13,569 to Sunbelt Construction for the Kiwanis Club and maintenance building project at Phil Moore Park. The change order includes better slope for the Soap Box Derby track and better air circulation in the maintenance building.
- Spending $13,975 for a vehicle to be used by the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force. The vehicle, to be used for surveillance and investigations, is being purchased using proceeds from the sale of forfeited vehicles.
- The magistrates also approved a contract reduction of $2,660 for the Smallhouse Road-Elrod Road roundabout project done by Scotty’s Contracting.
Warren County Public Works Director Josh Moore said he expects the roundabout project that is now open to come under the $129,637 budgeted amount “by about $15,000.”
“This has been a very smooth project,” Moore said.