Opponents Of Oak Hill Commercial Development Continue Fight
by Emily Luxen
OAK HILL, Tenn. - A meeting designed to get feedback on how the city of Oak Hill should plan for its future got heated quickly.
Many in the audience at the Glendale Elementary School gym, came to speak out against a proposed commercial development project. In December, the city was considering re-zoning about 100 acres at the corner of Franklin Road and Old Hickory Boulevard to make way for the city's first and only commercial development. Since then, many opponents have argued the project would negatively impact the character of the city.
"It would just really put a lot of pressure on that area," said Heidi Pflaum, an opponent to the project. "Traffic pressure, residential pressure and environmental pressure."
Pflaum has worked to collect more than 400 signatures of opponents on a petition, and helped create two YouTube videos making the case against the project.
Oak Hill Mayor Austin McMullen said the city currently has no plans to pursue the commercial development after listening to resident's concerns.
"There's no commercial development that is being considered, or that is on the table," Mayor McMullen said multiple times during the meeting.
However, many in the audience still shouted questions and comments regarding the project.
McMullen said the purpose of the meeting was to get feedback from residents on how the city should plan for a financially stable future. He said despite strong emotions, he hopes residents can still offer that input.
"We really want to see what people want for the long term for our city and come together to develop a shared vision for what the future of our community is," said McMullen.
The city will hold three more meetings to collect residents' feedback. The meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, February 11th at 6:00 p.m. at Church of the Advent, 5501 Franklin Pike, Sunday, February 16th at 4:00 p.m. at Father Ryan High School, 700 Norwood Drive, Monday, February 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Judson Baptist Church, 4900 Franklin Pike.
After finishing the meetings, city leaders will compile all of the feedback and use it to determine which projects to focus on.
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.