City approves rezoning, paves way for retail development

By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – The Cookeville City Council on Thursday unanimously approved second readings of ordinances to rezone property and change its land use plan to allow a future commercial development at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Old Kentucky Road.

The first ordinance amends the future land use plan of the Cookeville 2030 Plan changing the property at the southeast corner of 10th Street and Old Kentucky Road (1545 E. 10th St.) from residential to appropriate for commercial development.

The ordinance excludes an 11-acre portion that includes a flood plain. This motion passed 4-0 with Vice-Mayor Laurin Wheaton absent.

The council also passed a second ordinance rezoning a 15-acre portion of that property from RS-10 (Single-Family Residential) to PCD (Planned Commercial Development), leaving an approximately six-acre portion of the property reclassified as appropriate for commercial development but remaining zoned RS-10 residential.

There were several conditions and restrictions that the council placed on the property for approval as PCD including: fencing and a noise barrier between the development and Bilbrey Park subdivision, signage restricted to monument style not to exceed 12 foot in height with one pole sign along Highway 111 not to exceed 25 foot in height, evergreen trees used as screening should be at least 10 feet tall at planting, dark sky lighting, restricted delivery times with no deliveries between 11 p.m. – 7 a.m., a required agreement with the developer for cost share of 10th Street improvements that meets council approval and billboards, night clubs and tattoo parlors will be prohibited from the site.

This ordinance was also approved 4-0.

The East 10th Street road improvement cost share agreement was worked out between Titan Development and the city prior to the meeting.  This cost share agreement was approved unanimously by the council under new business.

The cost share agreement calls for two west bound thru lanes, two east bound thru lanes, one turn lane, one dedicated east bound turn lane onto Old Kentucky Road, one dedicated east bound right turn lane into the proposed development, sidewalks, curb/gutter and storm sewers, and a traffic signal at Doris Drive.

Titan Development would be responsible for providing stamped engineered plans and specifications for all the improvements including storm water plans, providing right of way plans and exhibits, providing traffic control plans, deeding to the city property for the additional east bound lanes, and to pay expenses to relocate as necessary utilities along the south side of East 10th Street east of Old Kentucky Road.

Further, the developer would be responsible to perform all grade work for the entire roadway up to and including the sub-grade stage, pay for materials to install the traffic light at Doris Drive, install curb, gutter and storm sewer along the south side of East 10th Street adjacent to their development and install topsoil and seeding along the south side of East 10th adjacent to the development.

The agreement can’t be transferred to anyone else by the developer without the approval of the city, a certificate of occupancy for the shopping center won’t be issued until the road improvement conditions are met, and if the agreement for any reason is terminated then the property rezoned PCD will revert back to RS-10 since the agreement was a condition of the rezoning. Titan Development would then cause their contractor to provide an irrevocable letter of credit or a payment performance bond in a form and amount approved by the city for the obligations that they have agreed to for the road improvements.

City Attorney Dan Rader stressed that the motion for this agreement needs to state that this agreement fulfills the conditions of the rezoning ordinance that must be completed for the rezoning to take effect.

Councilman Eric Walker said that he feels this cost-share plan was a key piece of the puzzle.

“I don’t necessarily think that all developments have to enter into a cost-share agreement to get developed,” Walker said. “I think one of the things that we heard most from the very beginning was the traffic on 10th and the city’s ability to do something in the short term in that area”

“I think this is the first step in five-laning Tenth Street,” Councilman Chuck Womack added. “It’s going to be a very expensive proposition and the fact that we can get the developer to help the city of Cookeville with that first step is a good thing for both parties. I think this is the first step in helping it (10th Street) go from an F during rush hour to maybe a C or D.”

The motion carried unanimously completing the steps to allow the development to proceed.

Michelle Price is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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