The Murfreesboro Planning Department will hold a public meeting Monday, Aug. 19, to examine possible changes in the Gateway District Overlay and the creation of a new mixed-use district that may be applicable in the area.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, located at 3050 Medical Center Parkway in Murfreesboro.
The Gateway is in an area where Medical Center Parkway extends on both sides of Interstate 24 all the way from Memorial Boulevard almost to Blackman High School.
“Medical Center Parkway is the spine of the area,” said Joseph Aydelott, director of the Planning Department.
Primarily undeveloped until the city purchased a portion of the area in early 2000s, the investment has been made back many times over, he said.
“The meeting will give the public a chance to comment on improvements proposed by the department for the Gateway District Overlay, which has existed for a decade and is in need of updating,” Aydelott said, noting the overlay adds protections and standards over existing zoning in the 360-acre area.
"I think that the regulations have been very successful in achieving an upscale environment around the Medical Center Parkway and Gateway area,” Aydelott said. “After 10 years of experience with these regulations, it is very appropriate for the city to take stock in what we as a community have learned about them and look for ways to improve upon them.”
The property was largely undeveloped before Medical Center Parkway was built. As development has occurred, he said the city has learned that updating is necessary.
And Aydelott said he wants all stakeholders and others to be involved in the process.
“We really want the public’s input because the public has always been a big part of the Gateway’s development,” he said recently. “I have made a staff report to the (Rutherford County) Planning Commission and there seems to be a great deal of interest.”
“The city will make every effort to make sure residents are aware of this meeting,” he said. “Spots are running on CityTV and an interactive page where residents can make comments is on the city’s web page. We have already placed signs in the area to let people know about the meeting.”
The proposed mixed-use district would offer opportunities that do not currently exist in the Gateway area, Aydelott said.
These opportunities include the possibility that both a vertical and horizontal mix of land uses could be achieved that would better utilize the infrastructure in the area, he added.
“In retrospect, it appears that some of the land in the Gateway area may not be appropriately zoned," he said, "and this is a good time to engage stakeholders in a discussion of what changes, if any, should be made."