Architect Greg Gamble and the owner of the Franklin Bridge Golf Club, Brooks West, recently met with Franklin residents via Zoom to discuss potential plans for three new structures on the golf course.
Those residents living within 500 feet of the golf course were invited to attend the meeting. The three proposed structures on the 186-acre property located at 750 Riverview Dr., next to the Forest Crossing neighborhood, would include a 300-square-foot bathroom facility near the seventh hole, a 1,200-square-foot turn shack and starter shack near hole one and a 5,200-square-foot training facility. West also included in plans to add an eight-hole short course on the property as well.
Nine months ago, West had the 18th hole moved and changed into a downhill part three, which left the course with seven acres of unused space. He talked about how that changed opened the door for this building project to go forward at the beginning of the neighborhood meeting.
“The core goal, what we’re trying to do, is to match this facility with the community that we live in,” West said at the meeting. “That obviously starts with the Forest Crossing neighborhood and HOA, and if you look at the grounds, the clubhouse, the pool and all the things that Forest Crossing HOA does… At the core of what Franklin is, the core of what Forest Crossing Neighborhood is, that’s a high bar and we want this place to match that. We have shown a long-term commitment to reinvest in the golf course to get to that level.”
West talked about the importance of getting some of the improvements that he talked about during the meeting, like bathrooms, all the way back in January 2019 when he spoke to the Home Pages shortly after buying the golf course on Dec. 31 of the previous year. The golf course is the only 18-hole public golf course in Williamson County.
Gamble, of Gamble Design Collective, detailed each of the three structures and their locations on the course. The bathrooms near the seventh hole would be the first for the golf course, which currently has just port-a-potties. The turn shack, which would also include restrooms, will have concessions, beverage service and a starter’s hut. The starter currently must sit on a golf cart with a radio to get the players to tee off.
The golf course will have to get special permission from the city of Franklin to build a turn shack at its current proposed location because it is, at its closest, 56 feet from the property line. Usually, the city requires that all non-residential structures be built at least 75 feet from an adjacent property line.
The training center, which would include hitting bays onto the driving range, a place for private golf lessons, electronic ball tracking equipment and beverage services, West believes is currently infeasible to build, but the city of Franklin requires that it must be included in the plan.
The question-and-answer portion of the meeting included questions from residents both for and against the proposal. Residents also voiced concerns about a variety of things including, increased traffic to the golf course caused by the short course, the noise of the proposed construction and more. Although most seemed ultimately in favor of the proposal.
West said during the meeting that January looked like the earliest they could start construction and would hope to open the additions in August 2023 if they get approval and required permits to begin building.
The next step in the approval process will be the Franklin Municipal Planning Commission meeting at City Hall in Franklin on July 28. The meeting will have a time for public comment. A recording of this meeting can be found on the city of Franklin’s website or YouTube channel.