The Murfreesboro City Council will conduct a public hearing Jan. 9 for the Hidden River Estates development to be located at the entrance to the Cason Trailhead greenway park.
The council on Thursday approved changing the public hearing date from Dec. 5, when it was originally scheduled, to Jan. 9. The applicant, Brian Burns, told city staff that his traffic engineer, Bill Huddleston of Huddleston-Steele Engineering, had a conflict on Dec. 5 and wanted Huddleston to be able to attend, said Matthew Blomeley, acting planning director.
Residents in surrounding neighborhoods formed an alliance, which is active on Facebook, called “Preserve Our Green Spaces,” searchable as “@CasonTrailhead.” Approximately 21 residents shared their concerns during a public hearing at the Planning Commission in October.
Those concerns centered on density, loss of urban forest, trailhead access, construction traffic, safety on neighborhood streets and traffic congestion. Hidden River Estates would funnel traffic through neighborhoods to either Cason Lane, which exits at Old Fort Parkway at River Rock Boulevard, and to the section of New Salem Highway that is currently being widened.
The Planning Commission endorsed the development on a 5-2 vote. Burns’ Blue Sky Construction company is requesting a change from residential zoning to Planned Unit Development. It plans to build 602 townhomes and 18 large “estate” homes, plus 15,000 square feet of commercial use, on 122.19 acres.
In other business, the council approved a request to increase the compensation for directors of the Murfreesboro Water Resources Department from $100 per meeting to $300 per meeting. The rate had not changed since 2000. The increase will cost an extra $19,200, which has been accounted for in this year’s budget, according to council records.
Council members Madelyn Scales Harris and Kirt Wade abstained from the vote because they represent the council on the water board of directors.
The council also approved spending $41,300 with Jackson Thornton Certified Public Accountants & Consultants to conduct a cost of service study to determine minimum user fees. The city conducts the study every two years, according to city documents.