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County unsure about PUD design

By ZOË HAGGARD - zhaggard@t-g.com
Posted 5/21/22

More was discussed on the proposed planned unit development (PUD) on Longview Road and Davis Lane in Unionville at Tuesday afternoon’s Bedford County Board of Commissioners Rules and …

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County unsure about PUD design

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More was discussed on the proposed planned unit development (PUD) on Longview Road and Davis Lane in Unionville at Tuesday afternoon’s Bedford County Board of Commissioners Rules and Legislative Committee. 

 The land is owned by the Grablis Family Real Estate. Around 115 acres will hold 127 lots, with a minimum of half-acre lots, built by Landmark Homes of Tennessee. The price range for this proposed Chesterfield Farms will be $375,000 to $500,000  

 If the rezoning is not approved for the PUD, then a subdivision will be developed on the lot, according to zoning director Chirs White. With subdivisions, the planning commission has limited tools to look at with a minimal set of standards, which causes developers to create some “wild and outlandish” lots, according to White.  

 “The reason why planned unit developments can be good is if it’s the right PUD plan, you know exactly what you’re going to get,” White said. This is not the case with a subdivision, which can become a “mixed bag” of houses. 

 “There are homes up on those roads that people call my office and complain about on a daily basis because they’ve got junk cars in the driveway or they’re keeping trash in the yard. In a PUD, you’re not going to have that,” White explained. There are no PUDs or HOA fees currently in Bedford, according to White.  

 Commissioner Mark Thomas asked about the alternative—if the zoning for the PUD was denied.  

 White said he talked to the developer and said that their engineer is working on an AR1 plan for a subdivision. This plan would not need to be resubmitted for rezoning, according to White.  

 “It would start and stop with the planning commission; it would never go to the [Board of Commissioners]; it would never go to Rules and Legislative. It would be a matter of does it meet the minimum criteria for a county subdivision.” 

 “So, there will be a subdivision there,” White said. 

 The PUD was discussed at the planning and zoning committee meeting in the last week of April. A motion was made to favorably recommend the rezoning, but the motion failed with 4 voting in favor and 5 against. No motion was made to send an unfavorable recommendation.  

 “This is somewhat confusing,” said committee chair Biff Farrar at Tuesday’s meeting. “I’ve been on the role for 20 years and I’ve never seen a recommendation like this.” 

 The rules and legislative committee sent the proposal back to the planning and zoning committee for review and for a definite favorable or unfavorable recommendation. The next planning and zoning meeting will be May 24 at 7 p.m. at the Bedford County Business Complex, 200 Dover Street.  

 White said they are hoping to host a town hall with the developers to discuss further what a PUD is.  

 “We’re going to get a lot of growth and we know that, so we’re stuck in this position where we’ve got to decide to go with something that is more high-end and promised to us...or are we going to keep doing what we’ve always done,” White said. 

 Commissioner comments 

 Commissioner Bill Anderson expressed his dislike for the PUD.  

 “If we let the genie out of the bottle for these PUDs and let the one, there’s going to be more of them...and when that happens, it’s going to change rural Bedford County forever,” he said. “We don’t have the infrastructure, the schools, the roads, and resources to bring in these PUDs and these people.”  

 Commissioner Jason Sanders, who represents the Unionville area, said “I think a PUD is a great thing...It would be great in certain areas, but not in rural Unionville. I think there’s enough people that feel the same way as I do who live there and who’ve got to look at it every day.” 

 Sewer concerns  

 During Tuesday’s meeting, resident Jennifer Potts asked about the impact of the septic tanks.  

 Subdivisions have to have public sewer or septic tanks, and the proposed PUD would use a step system. 

 Step systems are private sand filtration systems that are engineered to not leak into other water systems. “In fact, the water that comes out the other end is drinkable water,” White said. 

 White said there are step systems in the County, like at one of the schools in Bell Buckle.  

 Road maintenance 

 Some concerns have been brought up about the lack of road improvements in the Northern part of Bedford.  

 According to Bedford County Road Superintendent Mark Clanton, more than 10 miles of road has been paved to date in District 3, the County Commission/Road Board/School Board district that includes Unionville.  

 The department plans eight more miles of paving in that district during the new county fiscal year that begins July 1. The current cost per mile is $100,000, although that will likely go up when contracts are rebid in the next fiscal year. 

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