By BROOKE WANSER
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a golf course development on a 54-acre parcel of land south of Mack Hatcher Parkway and west of Franklin Road along the Harpeth River instead of a Discovery Center children’s museum or affordable housing.
At a brief meeting on Tuesday night, BOMA discussed those who have expressed interest in leasing the land, including the Discovery Center, Cheekwood Golf Club and the Franklin Housing Commission. Though aldermen verbalized a strong desire to have Discovery Center in Franklin, the majority voted for the golf course.
“The golf course can be a golf course only there,” said Alderman Dana McLendon. “It is an applicant that cannot do what they need to do anywhere else.”
“All three of these entities are wonderful. We must have housing,” Alderman Margaret Martin said. “It is imperative that we have a Discovery Center,” she said, conceding that, “for this piece of property, the golf course is the answer.”
“I think that the Discovery Center will have a home and I will support it 150 percent,” she continued, also voicing her support for groups working to find homes for residents.
Alderman Brandy Blanton pointed out that the golf course was the most pragmatic choice, simply because the course would take advantage of every bit of the land, with course owners agreeing to maintain the property, pay property taxes and maintain trails.
“The golf course doesn’t seem to have any recourse,” she said.
Alderman Beverly Burger recused herself from the vote, and the rest of the aldermen voted 6-1 to allow the Cheekwood Golf Club to lease the property. Alderman Pearl Bransford opposed the motion, hoping instead for more land for affordable housing.
“Passing up this great opportunity for this land continues to set this city back, as far as our goal and our focus of the last 20 years on creating affordable housing in our community,” Bransford said.
The board also unanimously passed the following items:
- A first quarter budget for 2018 passed with amendments in its second of three readings.
- A contract with the Regional Transit Authority for the 91x Bus Service, which runs from Franklin to Nashville, was renewed.
- Aldermen approved a $67,000 project with Gresham Smith and Partner for improvements to Pratt Lane. City engineer Paul Holzen said the road is a very narrow county roadway with only seven or eight houses, but needs to be updated as an access road for emergencies.
- Aldermen accepted $263,668 in the form of community development block grant funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.