Commission to vote on Franklin Summit Thursday

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FRANKLIN—The Franklin Planning Commission on Thursday, Dec. 1, will vote on whether to recommend rezoning a portion of North College Drive for 108 apartments and 82 townhouses.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Planning Commission Member James Riddick said he believes the project should be approved.

“When people try to do something to help Franklin we turn them away,” Riddick said. “I think the developer is honest and I think he will help bring jobs to the community. I think he will help to get people to move here.”

Riddick added that he was concerned about the number of rental properties this would create, but said given the current economic climate more people would probably be renting.

“We need some nice rental property,” Riddick said.

Chairman Dr. Dan Peak, who was unable to attend the last meeting due to a medical conference, remains undecided on the issue. Peak said no one has called him in favor of the project.

Member Bobby Tyler said he was also undecided on the issue.

“There’s some additional information we’re going to have,” Tyler said.

During the last meeting, member Ray Smith said he also feared allowing too many rental properties, but made the motion to postpone any recommendation to the City Council so that Franklin Summit LLC could address concerns raised during the public hearing.

The developers are seeking to change the zoning of 20 acres on North College Drive for townhouses and apartments they say will come in demand with the development and build out of jobs associated with the Centerpoint Intermodal Park in Suffolk, 15 minutes from Franklin.

The apartments would be adjacent to the current Meadow Ridge Apartments.

Developer Bob Williams said he hopes to lease two apartments per month and sell one townhouse per month. He said construction could begin within 90 days of a decision by the City Council. Total build out could take up to six years.