May 8, 2008

Waterford Place approved for Brentwood

Brentwood clears way to extend rock wall
Three-story mixed-used development on Franklin Road gets approval
The Tennessean May 8, 2008

BRENTWOOD — Another 40-foot-tall rock wall is to be carved out of the sloped hillside along Franklin Road and Lynnwood Way, even though Brentwood officials are still unhappy with the 2-year-old wall looming over Walgreens next door.

The new rock wall, which will range in height from 16 to 40 feet, will be cut out of the hillside behind a proposed three-story, 42,700-foot mixed-use development called Waterford Place, which will be on Franklin Road, north of Walgreens.

The Brentwood Planning Commission approved the wall on Monday, despite concerns that it will be as unsightly as the tall, sheer-cut wall behind Walgreens.

"I voted against the Walgreens, and I think this is no different," said Jack Fletcher, a planning commissioner. "I think they're going to plant a few trees and it's going to take about 20 years to mature and be any value there."

Ragan Smith Associates' Alan Ramsey, the engineer on the project, said the firm intends to use the natural rock inside the hill for the structure and will screen the rock wall with evergreen vegetation.

Ramsey said the Waterford Place building is proposed to be about 42 feet tall, which would create another shield to camouflage the wall.

The area around Franklin Road and Moores Lane is quickly developing within the Brentwood and Franklin city limits. That's what had Fletcher concerned.

"The property next to it is going to develop, and it's got to tie into this property," he said.

But planning commissioner Everett Cowan said they've learned from the mistakes they made with the Walgreen's site.

"We're talking about setting back 10 to 15 feet from the curb line before this wall starts. At Walgreens, you're doing good if you got two feet. It's maybe a foot and a half," he said.

He also said the Waterford Place site has better soil than the Walgreens site to support vegetation growing up the hill.

After discussing the wall for about 30 minutes, the commission approved its inclusion on the Waterford Place site plan with a 4-3 vote.

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