By RACHAEL LONG
After several residents voiced concern and an hour-long discussion ensued at its most recent meeting, the Nolensville Planning Commission voted not to transition Summerlyn Section 2 from a performance bond to a maintenance bond.
Issues of concern that residents brought before the commission included driveways with large curbs which made it hard for homeowners to get in and out of their drives, filthy detention ponds experiencing drainage issues and more.
Resident Lisa Garramone, who spoke on previously detailed neighborhood issues, said she had seen little progress since the last meeting. She submitted a Powerpoint presentation full of photographs of residential property where homeowners were experiencing some of resident concerns.
Garramone also showed commissioners examples of drainage issues being experienced by residents on individual lots, items that are considered outside of the bond in question.
“I brought this because I want you to understand that clearly the folks who have created this neighborhood have not thought through what the drainage needs to look like in the detention ponds and on the individual lots,” Garramone said.
Resident Joe Curtsinger spoke at the May 13 meeting to oppose the transition of the Summerlyn bond. Curtsinger also expressed that he had not seen any progress regarding the issues at his property that he’d brought forward in previous meetings.
“Still nothing has been achieved, nothing’s been done to the buffering along my entire property,” Curtsinger said. “As a matter of fact, it’s getting worse.”
He explained that he has no buffering element between his property and other homes and a drainage ditch where water now runs that he says wasn’t there before.
“The buffer that was promised is not there, there is none,” Curtsinger said. “This has to be corrected, needs to be corrected. Somebody needs to hold these people’s feet to the fire and get these buffers straightened out.”
One resident said she’s dealt with the drainage issues for two and a half years, and while she’s talked with The Jones Company about her issues, she said “they never do enough to actually fix the problem.”
She said when she bought the property, she wasn’t expecting to have to deal with a drainage ditch. There was no easement for one, she said.
Because it sits at the lowest point, the resident said her backyard is now the collection point for runoff and other drainage in the neighborhood.
“I just want a yard that will dry out,” she said.
Vice President of Operations at The Jones Company, the builders of the property, Perry Pratt spoke on behalf of the builders Monday. He said the company fixes issues when they arise.
“It’s a flat site. There have been some drainage issues, and there may still be some,” Pratt said. “But…when there’s a problem, we go out and address it. Do we always do it as quickly as the homeowner wants us to? No, because everybody wants it done today. But we stand up and fix our problems.”
Pratt said he believed the residents who stood up to complain about a drainage issue all said The Jones Company had responded and worked on their issue.
“If we still have problems, we’ll get out there and work on them,” Pratt said.
Vice President of Ragan-Smith Associates Wes Harris also represented the Summerlyn subdivision and told commissioners that some of the residents’ concerns during the public comments period was the first he’d heard of those concerns.
“I don’t have a solution to even offer up to you because it was built per the plan,” Harris said. “I don’t, sitting here today, have an engineering solution for what you would do to reconcile that pond.”
Harris said he simply did not know what the engineering solution would be and he did not know how to drain the pond the way it now sits, on flat land. All he really could say, Harris said, is that the pond matches the design.
“Can you see how unsatisfactory that is?” Radley asked Harris. “We’ve made a design, we’ve built it to design, and the design doesn’t work, and you just say, ‘Oh well, it just doesn’t work.’”
“It doesn’t work the way the people in this room would like it to work,” Harris replied, which drew laughter and commentary from the audience.
With so many issues at hand, planning commissioners were not convinced to transition the bond, and eventually voted not to approve the item.
When it came time to address the second Summerlyn agenda item, a transition of the Summerlyn Section 2 landscape bond from performance to maintenance, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the transition.
But it was not without concern from residents.
At one point, tensions boiled over and a person in the audience said, “Eldon Circle is disgusting.”
She was immediately addressed by members of the planning commission and Radley, who said the time for public comments was over.
“I don’t care,” the woman responded. “This is ridiculous. It’s disgusting.”
After a moment of silence, Radley spoke again.
“What we’re saying is the town did not require a landscaping plan for the open space in section two, other than the tree planning on the street,” Radley said. “If we didn’t require it, we can’t hold them to it.”
The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for June 11 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.