The previous Walgreen plans have all indicated Old Harding dead-ending at Collins Road (with a solid curbed grass barricade). Please note that the very latest plan indicates a new cut-through, staight across Collins Road and into the Amoco -- bringing us almost back to square one! I believe that the entrances in and out of the Amoco should both be provided on Highway 100.
I agree that many options were presented, however none of them currently have (or have a chance to get) funding. The developer of the proposed Walgreen's will ready, willing, and able to develop the proposed project, and most importantly, fix the intersection. Based on the fact that the intersection will be fixed, and most likely fixed within the year, I support this project, and ask my neighbors to do the same.
I am a member of the Poplar Creek Homeowners Board of Directors. My statements below are in no way reflective of board opinion nor are they a board endorsement of any plan.
I recently attended the subarea 6 meeting at Bellevue Middle School. As it pertains to development of the triangle in front of Harpeth Valley Elementary, 3 proposals were presented. One involved no zoning changes to the existing area i.e. leaving it zoned CN. The second proposal involved approximately 7 designs for the triangle. The third involved the proposed Walgreen's development. My main desire is to fix the intersection of Collins Rd. and Old Harding Pk before someone is killed. In my opinion, the quickest means to fix this is to support the proposed Walgreens' development. The first plan proposed (no zoning changes to the triangle) presents a few issues. First, the area is currently zoned CN, as I understand, which does not allow for any businesses to exist over 5,000 sq. ft. I have been to many of the planning meetings and most have objected to having a strip mall or as some have said "more nail salons." Leaving the area as it is currently zoned seems to leave the area open for "strip mall" type development. Secondly, this proposal does nothing regarding redesign of the intersection of Collins Rd. and Old Harding Pk i.e. we are at the mercy of Metro's coming up with the funding and I think we all know what those chances are. The second proposal had several interesting and appealing drawings developed from homeowner input at a recent charette. At the end of the presentations of the 7, the designer mentioned two key points: First, to get any moving would involve needed zoning changes and second funding would have to be sought. I noted that several, if not all, showed redesign of the intersection; however, initiating any plan involves our needing to arrange for funding, again a tall order in my opinion if we have to depend on Metro. This brings me to the Walgreens' plan. This developer has held numerous meetings and asked for homeowner input. Each time, he has gone back to the drawing boards and come up with a viable solution. The first ultimatem was to fix the intersection. He went and drew up a plan to do so. Second, there was a complaint about the Walgreens' location's being directly in front of the school. Again, he redesigned and moved it to the easterly tract of property. lastly, many complained about anything's being in front of the school. I noticed lastnight where he had again moved more proposed development on the westerly tract to the easterly tract so as to leave the area immediately in front of the school as undeveloped property that could be kept green. Now, to get the intersection fixed, which is the desire of many, his solution already has the funding i.e. he is funding the road changes so we do not have to rely on Metro. The only change involves zoning allowing him to build a structure larger than the current 5,000 sq. ft per store limit. Many have expressed concern about lighting. He showed design pictures of how other Walgreens' developments have addressed this. I think he has shown a plan to address this concern. Again, my main desire is to fix the intersection. He funds that. The zoning change proposed allows a store that is not of the strip mall variety opposed by so many. He has proven time and time again that he values our opinion. We have to compromise to get what we desire. If you want the intersection fixed, his plan will get it done quickest. The compromise is a zoning change. The first proposal leaves the area open for continued fights to prevent strip mall types of shops. As was stated lastnight, this is prime piece of property and taking a "do nothing" approach doesn't prevent future development i.e. it is going to happen. It also does nothing to address the intersection problem at Collins Rd. The second proposal has nice features but no funding either for the proposed developments of the area or road changes i.e. we have to rely on Metro. I support Walgreens as a fair trade off. We fix a potentially deadly intersection with current funding while compromising and allowing a zoning change and a store. I heard the representative of Planning state that it was going to recommend developing the area as a commercial node and keeping the existing tract zoned as it currently is. For those concerned about "strip malls" Planning's proposal seems to allow for developers to continue to propose this type of development. If your greatest concern is to fix the intersection, I suggest the Walgreens' alternative is the only quick way to get it done.