Hill Property Study Asks For Input From Franklin Residents

Posted at 8:32 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 21:33:16-05

The City of Franklin is asking residents to weigh in on what should be developed on a city-owned land across from Bicentennial Park.

The Hill is a 5-acre property on Hillsboro Road that sat empty for several years after public works was consolidated into one spot. 

The city conducted a study with Tuck-Hinton Architects to create three different concepts focused on recreation, compact housing and mixed-residential housing. 

Residents were able to see the renderings at a public meeting last week. 

A survey has been developed asking residents their thoughts on the concepts.

As of Tuesday, nearly 1,000 people have answered the survey.

"There are definitely many affordable housing advocates in support of the residential design concepts. We've heard a lot of people in favor of the recreation design concept with the trail being right there at Bicentennial Park," said Planning & Sustainability Director Emily Hunter.

The property has been the goal for several housing organizations including Habitat For Humanity Williamson-Maury, Hard Bargain Association, Community Housing Partnership and Franklin Housing Authority for several years.

The groups have partnered together and started a petition with the goal of the city to allow them to develop the land for affordable and workforce housing.

"You realize how expensive it is to live in this area. People can make a living but it's hard to make a living and still live in Franklin at this point," said Habitat For Humanity Williamson-Maury Executive Director Becket Moore. 

As of January, the average price for a home in Williamson County was $582,297. 

Moore understands that the term "affordable" may have negative connotations but he urged people that the development would help the working class.

"A lot of the people that work in your grocery stores, restaurants, the firemen, the policemen, they necessarily can't afford to live here," said Moore.

The survey is a step in a long process that would require approval from the city.

If the workforce housing option is approved, it would require a public hearing.

Moore said the ideal cost of a home would be $250,000 but it all depends on zoning and if the city would lease or sell the land. 

The survey can be accessed for the next two weeks. Click on this link to take the survey. 

No other public meets were set.