Commission approves Engineering Plat for Phase 2 of Thornhill Estates

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By Bill Short

The Millington Planning Commission has approved the Engineering Plat for Phase 2 of the Thornhill Estates residential subdivision south of Big Creek Church Road.

Commission members took the action during their Nov. 15 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Mike Caruthers and seconded by Leanna Dagen.

The motion was passed by four affirmative votes, with Brenda Barber, Curtis Park and Chairman Chuck Hurt Jr. absent.

Charles Goforth, planning consultant for the city, has said the subdivision was developed sometime before the “housing recession hit” in 2008, and not much has happened since then.

“It was actually approved in about four sections,” he recalled. “The first section was really two sections, so, it was combined.”

Goforth said Phase 2, which is the eastern part of the subdivision, is “immediately adjacent” to the current Thornhill subdivision.

It will have 119 lots on 44.84 acres. The property is zoned R-1, Low-Density Residential, which requires lots that are at least 80-by-125 feet with a minimum of 10,000 square feet.

Goforth acknowledged that “quite a few” lots will be larger than that.

He noted that a “divided drive” will come in off of Big Creek Church Road and connect to Ryan Hill and Shady Hollow Lane in the existing subdivision.

Goforth said one of the issues with Phase 2 is that there are no turn lanes or improvements at the intersection of Highway 51 and Big Creek Church Road.

He noted that the planning staff is preparing a study to determine when a traffic signal will be needed there. But he said installation of the signal and improvements will cost $750,000 to $800,000.

Because the staff believes that the developers should participate with the city on this, Goforth said it is requesting that a fee of $500 per lot be set. And as each lot develops, that money would go into an escrow account to pay for the improvements.

He noted that the intersection improvements need to be done at the same time that the traffic signal is installed.

“Probably, what’s going to have to happen is we’ll take the money that we can collect,” he said, “and when the time comes, we will build it. Then, we will continue to collect the fees until all of it is paid back.”

The commission approved the Engineering Plat for Phase 2 with the following conditions:

(1) Because the Design Plat specifically requested two locations for the mailbox kiosks, detail must be provided showing two parking spaces, proposed location of mailboxes and structures.

(2) The entrance sign must meet all visibility setbacks, and easements must be provided for the maintenance of the sign and the area around it.

(3) The median on Street 2 must be designated as open space and maintained by a homeowners association.

(4) A landscape screen, including a 6-foot-tall wood fence with a brick column every 40 feet,

must be provided on Lots 1-18 where they back up to Big Creek Church Road.

(5) A development fee of $500 per lot will be required in the contract to provide for a portion of the cost of the traffic signal and intersection improvements at Big Creek Church Road and Highway 51.

(6) Engineering comments must clarify the grading on the detention pond site.

(7) Fire hydrants must be spaced no more than 400 feet apart and match existing city fire hydrants.

At its June 21 meeting, the commission approved the Design Plat for Phase 2 with the following conditions:

(1) The entrance on Big Creek Church Road must have 22 feet of pavement on either side of a 10-foot median.

(2) The Engineering Plat must be submitted in accordance with the city’s Subdivision Regulations.

(3) The design of the stormwater detention basin must meet the 25-year storm requirements.

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