The Murfreesboro City Council held public hearings Thursday night about annexing 406 acres for the development of West Park and commercial highway construction along nearby roads and annexation of Shores Road right-of-way.
About 120.5 acres of the property proposed would be for the future park at the southwest corner of Burnt Knob and Blackman roads, east of Veterans Parkway and north of Interstate 840.
Voting on the annexation was unanimous with no public comments and all council members in favor for it. NewsRadioWGNS' correspondent Jackson Jones was there...
We spoke with Mayor Shane McFarland about the annexation...
The master plan calls for amenities to include 13 baseball/softball diamonds, two walking trails, a splash pad, two multipurpose fields for sports such as soccer and lacrosse, an events field with a concrete pad for portable stages, two playgrounds and seven picnic pavilions.
In addition to West Park, the city plans to widen two to five lanes along Burnt Knob Rd.
The upgrade will stretch from Blackman Road to Veterans Parkway and include curbs and gutters for underground drainage. The road plan includes a traffic signal for the Burnt Knob intersection at Blackman. These road upgrades are part of the city's plans to address traffic increases from the park.
The 79 acres would be highway commercial district and fringe, which was met with some criticism from the council.
Councilman Rick Lalance spoke openly about converting to commercial. Lalance went on to say, "I'm very disappointed with our planning staff," in reference to including a potential truck stop or warehouse along Blackman Road and Veterans Parkway.
The developer responded to Lalance's comments and helped him feel at ease stating this property is a top priority for many people.
Property owner Donald McDonald was in attendance and spoke in front of council. He said West Park will be an excellent product and doesn't want a warehouse or truck stop to interfere with its intended purpose.
Councilman Eddie Smotherman said, "I trust everything McDonald says...it's in his front yard." He made a motion to defer until next meeting for the final section of the annexation with converting the highway commercial fringe.
In other council news, a public meeting was held to consider annexation of over 5,000 linear feet of Shores Road right of way. Many people in the community were against the annexation saying it's a waste of taxpayer's money and wanted the city to put in a traffic light instead.
Others pointed out that they're mixing several different kinds of residential and commercial areas with potential traffic problems.
Mayor McFarland had this to say,
Council ultimately moved to defer after much discussion.