Franklin development sparks flooding concerns

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Oct 12, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Franklin development is getting push back from the community over a plan to build a 200-acre neighborhood that some fear could cause flooding issues.

The development would happen at the site of the current Brownland Farms near Hillsboro Road. It's surrounded on three sides by moving water and has areas currently within the floodplain.

The current proposal would put some of the homes in the floodplain and also add some mitigation to the site.

However, some fear altering the flow of the Harpeth River could have unintended consequences for other nearby homes and areas downriver.

"People's property rights should stop basically where the public safety begins," said Laura Turner, a Franklin resident who's opposed to the project. "There was flooding on Hillsboro Road. Recently when we had the flooding here during big rain events, we had flooding on the road."

Turner said areas downstream can flood to the point where roads are impassable. She doesn't want the developers to start changing the land upstream and create new flood zones elsewhere.

"That water is going to go somewhere. It's going up. Water goes where it wants to go. So, it will be outside of the development, further exacerbating flooding," she said.

Developer Kevin Estes of Land Solutions said it's not likely there will be flooding elsewhere. He said they hired experts and engineers to look at the land and added mitigation to the plan.

He said they're going to try to keep any flooding from happening downstream. Also, no work will be done until FEMA approves his plan.

Tuesday evening the Franklin aldermen and mayor will look at the issue. The rezoning request is on its third reading on the meeting agenda.

Turner said she will speak against the development.

"I firmly believe that lives will be lost if that is allowed to go through," she said.

Estes said the company is taking the considerations of the city and its residents seriously. They don't expect work will begin for another 6 to 9 months even if it is rezoned.