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Leeville concerns lead council meeting

Sinclaire Sparkman • Jun 20, 2018 at 3:30 PM

The Lebanon City Council deferred approval of a zoning change for an area of Leeville Pike on Tuesday evening after residents voiced concerns.

Two ordinances for changes to the zoning on Leeville Pike appeared on the council agenda Tuesday, and three area residents spoke about water retention, property values and traffic.

The first ordinance, to bring smaller lot sizes for 6 acres at 2793 Leeville Pike, received the most attention and was unanimously deferred for 60 days after a motion by Ward 4 Councilor Chris Crowell.

“Every time there’s been an issue that I can recall, the developer has always reached out to me before a vote, and that is not the case with this 2793 property, so I will be making a motion to defer this tonight,” Crowell said.

Joe McKnight, developer for the other Leeville ordinance to give smaller lot sizes for about 18.5 acres on Leeville Pike, addressed the council during the public hearing and said the plans for 48 single-family homes include building a road that would hopefully mitigate traffic concerns.

A traffic light planned for the intersection of Crowell Lane and Leeville Pike is still in the works.

Another ordinance proposed new positions in a few different city departments, including sanitation, stormwater, gas and the fire department. The council voted 5-1, with Ward 1 Councilor Joey Carmack as the only “no” vote, on a motion to defer an ordinance that would add the new positions.

“Going forward, when we bring this back, anytime we’re doing anything relating to a new position that should have to be voted on as an individual ordinance to stand alone. I’m uncomfortable when it seems like we’re putting everything but the kitchen sink in one ordinance, and if we vote for one position, or we don’t like one position, and we’re having to break it up like we’re doing now, then we’re potentially not getting other positions based on that. I also believe that any time we do that it should come with a written analysis from the commissioner of finance,” said Ward 3 Councilor Rob Cesternino, who joined the meeting via Skype while he is deployed.

The council also unanimously approved $6.2 million in funds for a new police station, which would relocate Lebanon police and central dispatch to 1017 Sparta Pike from its current location on Tennessee Boulevard.

In other business, the council:

• sent the design guidelines and zoning changes for the Historic Square District back to committee to consider comments brought up at the last council meeting.

• amended the zoning atlas for the River Oaks Planned Unit Development without the Palmer Road entrance.

• bought a new sanitation truck for the recycling program.

• adopted revisions to the holidays and leaves section of city employee personnel rules.

• changed the zoning of 617 Tater Peeler Road to fit its current residential use.

• changed zoning of almost 50 acres near Publix and Sports Village on Maple Hill Road and West Main Street to commercial use.

• approved new zoning rules for Timberline Campground.

• approved the purchase of new replacement valves for the water plant.

• approved a lease agreement on rates for the second floor conference room at the airport.

The council will hold a special-called meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. to vote on funds for the new police department and new city positions.

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