By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Ragan-Smith Associates had their request to develop 157 family and townhome lots just off of Critz Lane deferred Tuesday by the Thompson’s Station Planning Commission amid significant traffic and safety concerns.
The proposal is expected to return to the planning commission to be voted on in July.
Proposed by Ragan-Smith Associates on behalf of Encompass Land Group, a real estate acquisition company, the project is named Fields of Canterbury, and would be another addition to the existing Canterbury community. The proposal detailed plans for the development of 72 single-family lots, 85 townhome lots, a pump station lot, open space lots and the removal of 96 trees.
A representative of Ragan-Smith Associates said that the planning commission was “holding our plats hostage for something you all control.”
Planning commission commissioner Ben Dilks wouldn’t budge on the issue, saying improvements to Critz Lane are “long overdue.”
“I’m not piling on an existing problem,” Dilks said. “We’re going to fix Critz Lane, we’re going to do it as quickly as we can, but we’re not going to build more houses along Critz Lane until it’s done.”
Dilks said that the only traffic study conducted on the Canterbury subdivision was done in 2004, and that the study only projected there to be 1 secondary access to Critz Lane.
“Now there’s 2 [secondary accesses],” Dilks said. “The whole neighborhood goes on it, and again, it’s 9 times the traffic projected in that original study. You put 9 times the traffic onto a back road…”
The safety of Critz Lane has been called into question before, most recently when 18 year-old Austin Oppelt died last year on the road in a motor accident. Dilks brought up this case when asked how dangerous the road really was.
Ragan-Smith Associates and Encompass Land Group plan to alter and resubmit their request in the future.
“Hopefully we can work together to appease both parties to make sure that we put safe traffic on the roads,” said Ryan Manners, in charge of development and acquisitions for Encompass Land Group. “We don’t want to put something out there that’s unsafe, but we think we can provide a good solution with our engineers and their engineers. We’re going to go back and re-look at that and make sure that’s what we’re doing.”