A year ago — almost to the day — Fairview executives voted to rezone 125 acres of land adjoining the city’s outdoor centerpiece, Bowie Nature Park.
This vote allowed the development of nearly 170 residences, approximately 50 feet from the park and a pedestrian path. Plans for the Bowie Park neighborhood, first presented to the Fairview Board of Commissioners nearly two years ago, stunned residents of the Cox Run subdivision.
The plan originally proposed more than 240 dwellings. Their contribution reduced the number of houses and increased the buffer zone between the park in the following months.
A section of the site has further planned stacked homes development, which has smaller homes on quarter-acre lots.
“You have twice as many homes in a smaller footprint. You have traffic. Now you have light pollution. You have noise pollution,” said longtime resident Tim Rocco. “You have all that stuff to go with it.”
Last month, residents of Cox Run, which neighbors the 700-acre Bowie Nature Park and proposed development, won a lawsuit temporarily halting work on The Neighborhood. Williamson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley ordered the Fairview Board of Commissioners to take action again in a rezoning vote that would allow the neighborhood to be built.
The reason? The city’s ordinance requires preliminary drainage calculations to be presented at the council meeting before approval – developers weren’t seen until nearly nine months later, according to the judge.
The Cox Run group formed the Loblolly Pine Alliance and sued.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Fairview’s May 19 council of commissioners meeting, the method chosen by city officials to comply with the judge’s order.
Rocco is concerned that the developers will present new information at the next meeting and that the board will delay the vote until further study. He fears “that they have decided what they are going to do”.
Previously:Fairview Citizens Group Files Lawsuit Against City Over Residential Development Approval
‘It’s going to be bad’
Elmer Mobley, chairman of the alliance, said the group’s main problems are: denser housing; stormwater control; and damage to the park. And, they believe the three are related.
Mobley said most Fairview residents opposed it.
“I would say, off the cuff, 90% or more of the city, if you ask them, would say they have concerns about it or they just don’t want to have it all,” Mobley said, adding that d ‘Other residents have visited them to express these concerns.
The alliance was certainly concerned about the effect on their property, but also concerned about the water damage to Bowie Park. The Alliance, in a recent interview with The Tennessean, said they are not anti-development. They know it’s coming.
“We all have great views. I’ve been there for 23 years. It will disappear. Its good. It’s not right to build a city here,” Rocco said. “That’s what we oppose. The whole POD thing.
“It’s going to be bad,” he added.
Previously:Fairview rezoning to allow Bowie Park neighborhood gets final approval
‘The right cut’
Candy Groves, a Fairview resident representing the Groves family that owns the property, spoke at a meeting in April last year about her love for the town and the proposed development.
“There’s absolutely nothing we wanted more than to bring a product that Fairview would be proud to have, and that our name would be behind it,” Groves said.
She said several people had made offers to buy the land over the years, and the answer was “No.”
“We met Dan (Allen) and knew this was the right fit,” Groves said, noting the development is “magnificent.”
Related:Fairview’s Bowie Park: It’s not going anywhere, says an official.
Allen owns Davis Drive Investments, which is developing the Bowie Park neighborhood.
“It will bring nice homes, sidewalks that everyone is worried about, a play area for kids, and I just think it will increase the value of homes around it,” Groves said. “I’m nervous because I really don’t know why there’s been such a situation about this, but I want you to know that we care about the park. We care about Cox Run. We absolutely don’t want anything to happen to any of our neighbors, but I want to remind you that Cox Run used to be a farm, and if you live in a housing estate, it used to be a farm.
‘A city that borders (park)’
Rocco said if all the houses were on half-acre lots, he would remain silent on the project. But, Rocco remains talkative about the drainage problems he fears.
“The thinking here is, or so we’ve been told, that this road is a good thing because it’s going to channel water into the stormwater pond,” Rocco said of the southern road between the neighborhood and the park. “What they don’t take into account is that when you pour water on concrete, it moves much faster than when you pour it on grass. There is a speed problem.
He said the denser homes in POD mean more roofs, driveways, and “more hard surfaces for all that water to drain into the neighborhood.”
“You have a town bordering (the park) now,” Rocco added. “It would have made just as much sense to build half-acre lots. There would be no loblolly pine alliance. We told them that.