At the Nolensville Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday evening, the highly anticipated development of Southwalk was once again the subject of discussion.
The mixed-use commercial development, the largest of its kind ever built in the city, has been a much-discussed project due to both enthusiasm and differing opinions over the concept and design.
In August 2019, the concept plan for Southwalk PUD was submitted to the Council of Mayors and Aldermen for review. At that time, no decision was made. Onward to April 13, 2021, after changes to the plans, the Planning Commission approved the final site platform, which at the time was to be a four-story, 19,250 square foot building. Shortly after, developer and mayor Derek Adams held a groundbreaking ceremony.
During Tuesday evening’s meeting, commissioners reviewed the new site plan for the development, which will be an 18,250 square foot mixed-use commercial and residential building. There will be 9,125 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and 11 residential units on the second floor. Previously, the plan called for the residential space to be on the first floor.
Many concerns were raised during the Southwalk discussion, which lasted over an hour and a half, including proper tree planting, construction of garbage enclosures, facade details, parking lot logistics and ADA compliant ramps to access the residential floor and more.
In order to approve the site plan, the commissioners had a few items to submit to the promoter.
First, the developer must agree to make all design changes to elevation changes. Prior to obtaining building permits, the developer is also required to have an engineer or landscape architect estimate the costs of all landscaping on site.
The Southwalk Garbage Enclosure must be located out of public view and in accordance with applicable zoning regulations. In addition, design changes approved by the commission must be incorporated into the construction drawings. Finally, the development must have ADA-compliant railings with approved design elements, submit an appropriate lighting plan, and comply with a recent stormwater review letter.
A point of contention, which has come up many times before, arose when discussing the housing units in the development, and whether they would eventually be considered townhouses or not, and the number of rooms currently planned.
The promoter, Matthew Chilvers, expressed frustration with the continued back and forth over details as time for the Planning Commission meeting was running out.
“With all due respect, this topic has been explored extensively with legal counsel, multiple attorneys, multiple meetings with staff…it has been thoroughly reviewed,” Chilvers said. “It’s starting to be a point of trampling on my vested interests to move the discussion forward. It was determined. I mean, we have to move on. It has already taken a year to get there. It is very costly to delay the project.
Even with his plea and the Commissioners allowing an additional 15 minutes for discussion, the Planning Commission was unable to wrap up and vote on the site plan. In turn, this article as well as several others will have to be reviewed and voted on at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be held on Tuesday, September 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nolensville Town Hall. The town hall is located at 7218 Nolensville Road, Nolensville, TN 37135. The public is invited to attend.