By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – The controversial rezoning of the 107-acre property located at 5411 Lovelady Road from RS-20 (20,000 square-feet lots) to RS-5 (5,000 square-feet lots) was approved on first reading Thursday evening with Councilman Eric Walker, who represents the city on the planning commission, casting the lone dissenting vote.
The approved rezoning will require a transition zone of 19.83 acres that will be zoned RS-10 (10,000 square-feet lots) bordering all existing housing and the remaining 87 acres will be zoned high-density RS-5.
The rezoning request had been postponed after much discussion, with 27 people speaking out against the rezoning at the Public Hearing which was held on April 17 and expressing concerns ranging from traffic and health concerns to quality-of-life issues.
Walker stated before the vote, he believes it is important for the city to move forward looking at projects of this size as planned residential developments (PRD). He added that he was sure the city leaders and the planning commission would work with developers and work to grow the city, and that PRDs could be a great tool to ensure that local communities would also be protected.
“I have some concern that if we move forward with just allowing RS-5 developments at this scale, we invite the possibility of architectural standards, that we invite anti-developmental growth, and if we do it the right way, I think Cookeville will embrace growth,” explained Walker.
Cookeville and Monterey are the only cities in Putnam County where zoning regulations permit 5,000 square foot lots, with Baxter’s minimum lot size 7,000 square-feet, and Algood’s minimum lots being 10,000 square feet.