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Plans For Fontanel Expansion Divide Neighbors

Posted at 10:01 PM, Jul 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 00:08:25-04

A battle of preservation versus growth in Davidson County has broken out in Whites Creek over an expansion at Fontanel.

The expansion plan has drawn mixed reviews from neighbors.

Plans included adding a 136 room hotel and a 300 person conference hall on open land along Whites Creek Pike next to Fontanel.

Metro Council Member Brenda Haywood has said she also intends to add two amendments that would address nighttime lighting and call for an archeological study so developers don't disturb the Native American burial mound on property.

Supporters, including Haywood and the owners of Fontanel, have said the plans will bring in more business to the area, and help provide additional jobs. They also believe the plans have been constructed to fit in with the feel of the area.

“Considering how it will be laid out, it won’t be a distraction from the street,” said James Lawson, a long time Whites Creek resident who supports the plans. “There won’t be any additional traffic issues.  Whites Creek is a beautiful community.  I would love to see it stay rural.  What they are proposing will do that.”

However, other neighbors disagree. They argue that the plans will take away from the rural charm of the area, and bring additional noise and traffic. They also feel it is not in line with the Nashville Next plan which was designed to guide how the city will grow over the next 25 years.

“It sets a negative precedent,” said Elise Hudson, a long time Whites Creek resident who opposes the plans. “It’s a pretty big jump to go from an empty field to a hotel. This is not just about Whites Creek. This is about the future of Nashville.”

Hudson and other opponents have started an online petition that has collected hundreds of signatures.

For more information on the opposition effort, click here. To sign the online petition, click here.

Residents on both sides of the issue have been vocal at recent Metro Council meetings.

The debate will be settled when the issue goes before Metro Council for a third and final vote August 2.  The plan needs at least 27 votes from the 40-member council in order to be approved since the commission voted it down.