Issues 2017 Brentwood Homepage
Greetings from the Brentwood Home Page,
I hope all of you are doing well and having a nice week. As promised, here are a few questions we wanted to ask you for a series of other articles we are going to publish soon. For the sake of transparency I am sending these to all of you at once on the same email.
There are three questions here, one of which was sent to us by a member of the public. We plan to publish three separate articles based on these. Each article will basically start off with the question and then include all of your answers below.
If you could please get us answers to these by NOON this THURSDAY, that would be great. We plan on doing one article Friday, one next Monday and one next Tuesday. The candidates forum, as you know, is on Wednesday.
We are still getting questions submitted to us from the public, so we may have more for you at a later date, but this is all for now.
The questions are as follows:
- This question comes from a Brentwood Home Page reader: “Brentwood has a very large population of folks who would love to ‘age in our town.’ Who can offer some creative, cost effective options?”
The key to this question is the phrase “Cost Effective”. Senior Housing is something I have studied and worked with since the early 2000’s. It is an issue that the Commission intensely studied and worked with during the last two and a half years. As we strive to create a zoning that will allow for senior housing we also must continue to do it in a way that protects and continues our strict development standards that have made Brentwood unique. We currently have OSRD-IP zoning that was developed to allow for the type of house that would appeal to seniors. However, it does not and should not set a market price. Because of the desirability of Brentwood as a place to live, these homes are usually coveted and end up carrying a high value. We‘ve explored age restricted communities, communities with smaller lots, etc. but were unable to obtain a wide spread consensus in the community of what the senior housing ordinances and regulations should look like. I feel that without a widespread consensus on what a senior housing development should be, we will not at this point have specific senior housing; however, I am committed to continue to study, work and explore ways to facilitate senior housing while staying true to Brentwood’s high development standards.
- Would you support holding a referendum in Brentwood to ask citizens if they are in favor of raising taxes to fund local transit projects, as is allowed under Gov. Haslam’s transportation plan? If so, do you have an idea of what kind of transit project you would like to see the city undertake?
If there was a desire of the citizens of Brentwood to seek a referendum for a transit project, as the Brentwood citizen’s representative, I would look into ways to facilitate this referendum; however, at this time, there has not been a groundswell of citizens desiring the city to initiate public transportation. While we have had some citizens, who desire some public bus or van transportation, our residential layout makes it difficult to facilitate these services as a city. Ultimately, if a referendum is something a great number of resident’s favor, I will work hard to help facilitate such. Of course, a large percentage of our traffic on weekdays is pass through traffic from surrounding counties and an intra-Brentwood project would not address that.
There is not a large public transportation project within Brentwood that I see solving traffic issues. There may be smaller transit projects like shuttle service in our northern commercial areas during weekday business hours or services for seniors that could be studied. If Brentwood enters into any type of long term regional transit proposal it needs to be done with due diligence and very prudent and strict definitions of cost and what efficiencies the project will truly bring to the region in the area of traffic alleviation and potential ridership.
3.) The Tapestry complex was approved by the City Commission by a 6-1 vote several years ago. A couple of years after that, but before Tapestry actually opened, the commission voted 6-1 to disallow any further residential development in the Town Center. Now that Tapestry has been opened for a while, do you think it has had a net negative impact on the community? Would other higher-density developments along the lines of Tapestry sometime in the future definitely be bad for Brentwood, in your view?
I do not support further high density housing in Brentwood as it has the possibility of overcrowding our schools at a more rapid pace that typical existing home turnover. Overall, the Tapestry development has not had a crushing impact on the City. However, the high-density housing that it brought, and the impact that more might have on Brentwood, has been prohibited by the Commission as mentioned in your question. It is important to note, however, the Tapestry’s real impact on students and revenue as it pertains to schools. While I don’t believe, we need any further high density residential development, it does contribute approximately an average of only about 5 children per grade level (approximately 65 or so students) to our schools and has a strong financial impact by providing over $1,000,000 annually to our city and county budgets via property taxes.
Thanks so much for your responses. You can either respond directly on this email or send me a separate Word file with your answers.
Feel free to contact me with any questions/concerns.
Have a great night,