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Cookeville Planning Will Examine Reclassifying Salem Church Road

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Planning Will Examine Reclassifying Salem Church Road

Cookeville Planning Commission approved a rezoning request for a plot of land for new townhomes near the intersection of I-40 and Highway 111.

The 13.2-acre lot sits next to England Drive and Salem Church Road. The commission plans to further study Salem Church Road, which currently ends in a cul-de-sac.

Planning Director Jon Ward said the road was closed by a vote from Cookeville City Council around 2002.

“When England Drive was developed,” Ward said. “It was an action by the council at that point. There was concern with cut-through traffic impacting residential property there. The rezoning is just the first step, right? We need to what the development proposal is on the property to see how that all works and what’s necessary and needed. At any point, the planning commission could recommend reopening that and the council could reopen it. That could happen any time it’s needed.”

Ward said that should the commission go through with the rezoning, they would still have time to examine and address any concerns with the road. Councilman Eric Walker voiced concern about the status of Salem Church Road with an increase in demand and need for the road to open up.

“Especially if you get 100 plus residents over there in townhomes,” Walker said. ” I mean the may voice in the future they want that road open. It’s not like it’s going to be a single landowner development in the future if it were to be townhomes. I think any activity that’s going to increase to commercial zoning kind of comes with the idea that the city would probably need to look at or would have the demand in the future, I don’t know how long that would be, for that road to be considered a useful road for the city.”

Commissioner Jim Cobb asked developer Aaron Bernhardt if there would be any objection to the road opening. Bernhardt said it wouldn’t affect his needs as far as developing the townhomes. He said he planned on paving two openings onto the road for his future U-shaped subdivision. Ward said the water quality control department confirmed sewer service capacity for up to 100 townhomes on the plot.

Bernhardt said he wanted to develop the area to appeal to a different market of people due to its location off of Highway 111. Commission approved the rezoning and will move forward with studying Salem Church Road.


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