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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Urban sprawl spreads toward Shelbyville

Posted Friday, June 6, 2008, at 9:10 AM

I passed through Franklin quite a bit a few weeks ago while my father was in a Nashville hospital.

And I particularly noticed the large homes and SUVs, along with the new Nissan headquarters and flashy office buildings along I-65.

Quite a difference from Shelbyville and Bedford County and our nice, but mostly less opulent, homes.

I wonder if Franklin will grow large enough in the next few years that it'll stretch down Cox Road in Williamson County, which almost needs to be widened to make our access to I-65/Cool Springs/south Nashville easier?

It's becoming easier to reach Nashville that way than through crowded Murfreesboro and up I-24.

Murfreesboro has reached 100,000 population, according to a special census released recently. It wasn't that many years ago the 'Boro was only slightly larger than Shelbyville is now.

There's been talk of Murfreesboro annexing Christiana. I wouldn't be surprised to see Murfreesboro's city limits border the Bedford County line someday.

We still have wide open spaces in northern Bedford County -- for now, even though subdivisions continue to sprout.

Does Shelbyville's future include becoming a suburb of Murfreesboro? I wonder.


Comments
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We may need to do some pre-emptive zoning to forestall losing our wilderness,our arable land and our cultural heritage.

It's been demonstrated that most business (including retail,manufacturing, and public services) can be provided in an attractive and even environmentally sensitive setting.

We'll be far more effective at luring visitors to the hospitality trade and having pleasant surroundings for ourselves if we don't strip away all the beauty of where we live to accommodate alleged "progress".

We might want to buck the trend and add more farms,more true neighborhoods,more local commerce and more *appropriate* greenery to our area.

The elite can pay to shut out a good deal of intrusion but,while they may be able to buy the chance to hear crickets and see the Milky Way,they may not be any more able to have clean groundwater than their neighbor in the suburbs.

Many healthcare facilities make a point of having open and welcoming spaces for their clients because spare and sterile environments interfere with healing.

We can have bland,congested,frantic places for our work and homes or we can have places that retain our history,keep us in touch with Nature and each other and feel like havens instead of cells or traps.

Oh,if we "succeed" enough-and survive to enjoy it,we might one day bulldoze all the evidence of urban sprawl and pay to try to recreate the kind of down-home,solid citizens produced by the peace of a Mayberry or Walton's Mountain the way they tried to bring back the thunder lizards in "Jurassic Park."

Or we could try to preserve our endangered habitat before country folk and world they love become extinct.

Today,we can have peaches and tomatoes growing in our back yard and dogs on the porch yet still enjoy book learnin' and indoor plumbing.

Would the perks of being surrounded by a metastisizing city offer so much that we'd give up our souls for it?

I'd prefer to see my hometown attempt "rural sprawl" and combine the technology and diversity of the current era with the friendliness,the independent spirit,the respect for one's roots and the love of the earth that formed the best of our past.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 10:09 AM

I would love for Murfreesboro to swallow up Shelbyville . . . maybe then we would see some progress and the overall look of Shelbyville would improve.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:15 AM

jaxspike,

Be careful what you wish for. With so called "progress" will come higher taxes, more crime, more traffic and I'm just not sure that the overall look will improve, unless you think the look of strip malls and such along US 231 is an improvement.

JMHO,

William

-- Posted by HorseGentler on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:44 AM

Naw.

But,maybe we could get annexed by Franklin -or Wartrace or Bell Buckle or Leiper's Fork.

I do NOT want Tennessee to be a solid strip mall from Fayetteville to Springfield and Bristol to Memphis.

I want real homes and real businesses and real people-not boxes made of ticky-tacky inhabited by drones.

We may not live in Paradise but turning our town into a parking lot won't help.

(Especially when we won't get underground parking garages or the kind with rooftop gardens and living walls.)

The only people who might come out ahead would be the grifters we'd pay to spray motor oil around in lieu of maintaining the asphalt.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:54 AM

HorseGentler . . . the strip malls are better than the many empty buildings on Madison Street and the pockets of tacky Hispanic stores and restaurants we have now.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 1:06 PM

Let's look at neighboring communities and decide what we want and don't want before we get stuck with something by default.

I think I'm on record as admiring the beauty and tourist-friendly aspects of places like Franklin.

I do think we need to avoid turning Shelbyville into a Disneyfied place that has no real residents nor homefolk who could afford to shop or live where they work.

At the risk of sounding terribly snobbish,we need to remain aggressively middle class.

McMansions full of people who would always be strangers wouldn't help this town any more than ghettoes full of people barely getting by.

We need to be a community: family and friends who share common goals and dreams and watch each other's backs.

We need to have neighbors we can wave to,children we can watch grow up,people we can swap lies with over coffee and enjoy doing business with.

It's not that we need to shut out anyone who doesn't remember our old stories.

We need to make sure that all of us,old and new,are creating our new stories together.

Growth and change can be good things but they need applications of care and thought to make it happen.

Indifference or a defeatist or cynical attitude will not bring us the kind of future we'd want to live in.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 3:37 PM

David it's ironic you write about this topic because I was in Franklin Sunday and again tonight.. I absolutely love that town. The new Nissan headquarters is located in the heart of the city and is easily viewable from the interstate and various businesses and main roads. I hope to call that my place of occupation pretty soon (Marketing major graduating in December) whoo hoo!

LOL, but Shelbyville is unfortunately slow to accept change and many folks prefer we keep our choices so limited that for any source of entertainment of simply family fun, we have no choice but to venture outside the city limits... Which of course dumps all of those local taxes into the larger cities like Murfreesboro, Nashville, etc...

You don't necessarily have to raise taxes in order to expand the city, but common things like a wheel tax rather than a property tax would seem more beneficial to me. After all, many folks have 4 cars and one house...

On the other hand I do not wish to see the growth get so large that traffic becomes even more of a nightmare than it currently is.

Here are a few suggestions:

Drive-in movie theater

Multi screen theater (such as the Regal 8 in Tullahoma)

Skating rink

Updated bowling alley

Target or SOME competition to Wal-Mart

Starbucks and others

After all, the hospital is moving out past the city limits and onto a major national highway therefore the potential for businesses to locate near that area has got to be increasing.

What must we do make companies choose Shelbyville? Or how do we encourage locals to begin franchising new chains or entertainment venues? It's all possible, but not exactly probable considering the lack of progress to this point.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 10:36 PM

I just visited Franklin in the past month myself.

The area's best things were not the big ticket imports but things we could match easily.

We have movies in the park,live music,plays,antique stores and museums of local history.

Some of our dining spots could stack up to Monell's.

Could we attempt a scaled down version of The Factory?

Could we have a trolley service that might even visit tourist spots in the area?

The rink,etc. are very do-able and suitable for us or any folks we might court into coming here.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:32 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.