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Rezoned land to make way for new residential development near Historic District

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The southern half of a 4.5-acre tract of land near Collierville’s Historic District has been rezoned in order to make way for a 12-lot subdivision with the intended moniker of Washington Grove.

The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on second reading Monday night to rezone 2.55 acres south of Washington Street and east of Mt. Pleasant Road from general industrial to traditional neighborhood.

The expected development will include a dozen sinlge-family homes that are between 2,800 and 3,000 square feet in size, according to Town Planner Jamie Groce.

The town’s Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning earlier this month.

Former property owner Pete Erickson, who operates SEGA Gymnastics and Cheer in Collierville, had planned to relocate his gymnastics facility to the tract. However, Mike Russell purchased the property and intends to segment it with three private drives to create a six-lot row of residences that will back up to a “reserve area” just north of Norfolk Southern Railroad and three smaller, two-lot sections that will end at Washington Street.

Groce explained the “reserve area” as a buffer from the railroad tracks.

“It is presumed that it is due to the railroad’s use of the property as a ‘borrow pit,’” Groce said.

A “borrow pit” is an area where materials like soil, gravel or sand have been dug and stored for use at another location.

Groce said even though the proposed houses are not in the town’s Historic District, they will be designed to have a “historic feel.”

There will be a sidewalk along Washington Street but no curbs or gutters.

Many of the trees on the property will remain. However, trees closer to the road will likely be removed in order to develop the houses.

Groce said a recent traffic study concluded that the intersection of Poplar Ave. and Mt. Pleasant Road is “not functioning well.”

However, the town plans to eventually widen Poplar Ave. from Eastley Street to Highway 385.

Regarding traffic, the Washington Grove development is expected to generate around 114 daily trips to the neighborhood.

The board will vote on the rezoning request on third and final reading at its Dec. 11 meeting.

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