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Planning commission to consider 105-home project on former Batey property

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Steve Hohulin of Gresham Smith and Partners answered questions recently from residents of the Indian Lake Road and East Drive area about a proposed residential development. The city's planning commission will consider the plan on July 10. TENA LEE

A proposal to build 105 homes on one of the few pieces of open space left on Hendersonville's Indian Lake peninsula drew a larger than expected crowd at a neighborhood meeting on June 28.

More than 150 neighbors of a 35-acre tract of land known as the Batey farm - owned by that family since the early 1960's - listened as Steve Hohulin of Gresham Smith and Partners explained why builders D. R. Horton is asking that the property be rezoned from SR-1 to SR-1 Planned Unit Development.

  1. R. Horton is the largest home construction company in the U. S., according to its website. Hohulin said the company has a contract to buy the Batey property from Destiny Real Estate Ventures, LLC.

The single-family homes would average in size from 2,200 to 3,500 square-feet and cost an average of $350,000 each, he said.

The rezoning would allow the builder to build more homes than the current zoning allows - something Hohulin said is needed to offset the cost of several requirements of the city including drainage fixes and road improvements.

Also during the meeting, Ward 2 Alderman Scott Sprouse asked Hohulin to ask his client how much he would sell the land to the city for - a suggestion that garnered applause from those in attendance.

Hohulin reiterated that his client was not the land owner.

Many asked how the new development would impact drainage issues that already plague the area, traffic and local schools.

Tax records show the land is zoned for Nannie Berry Elementary School, Ellis Middle School and Hendersonville High School. Nannie Berry is currently undergoing an addition to the school.

The current SR-1 zoning allows for 80 to 90 homes with a lot size of 12,500 square feet, according to city Senior Planner, Keith Free. With a planned unit development zoning, the lot size could be as low as 7,500 square feet, he said.

Free said the developer would be allowed a few more homes by clustering them closer together, but more open space - 25 percent - would be required with an SR-1 PUD designation.

"The trade-off is more open space for more density," he added.

Also planned for the property are a detention pond and drainage fixes at the corner of East Drive and Indian Lake Road as well as amenities like walking trails and a neighborhood park, according to Free.

The developer would also be required to connect Berry Hill Drive with East Drive per the city's Land Use and Transportation Plan. The new road would eliminate a sharp curve at East and Trail East drives.

Free said the long-term plan is for that intersection to replace the current four-way stop at East Drive and Indian Lake Road. Most residents who live further down the Indian Lake peninsula would travel the extended Berry Hill Drive through the proposed development to get to and from Gallatin Road.

The city would also need to acquire land from at least one other land owner in order to construct the new road Free said.

When asked about details regarding the new road and intersection during the June 28 meeting, Hohulin said there would likely be a four-way stop at the new intersection, and that details had not yet been worked out.

More details are expected when the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission considers the rezoning request on July 10. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall and includes a public hearing on the project. The commission will make a recommendation before the project goes to the city's General Committee and then two readings of the city's Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Tax records show the Batey family sold two pieces of property - the 35-acre tract on East Drive and Indian Lake Road and 38 acres just across Stuart Drive on Nathan Forest Drive - to Destiny Real Estate Ventures, LLC for $2.7 million in June of 2016. Free said plans haven't been submitted to his department for the 38-acre tract.

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