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Alderman Brian Snyder and other Nolensville residents were concerned that design elements of buildings at the McCord Nolan development didn’t match the plans approved by the city. The town says the developer is now addressing those issues. // Photo by Matt Blois

By MATT BLOIS

Following several months of discussion with the Planning Commission about issues with parking and architectural design, a commercial development on Nolensville Road will likely open in a few months.

The McCord Nolan development will house a restaurant and several dentists’ offices. It was originally approved in 2009, and has slowly moved towards completion. The plans received an update in 2014 with some amendments since then. The buildings are now mostly finished.

Alderman Brian Snyder and several citizens brought up concerns at a May Planning Commission meeting that the nearly finished buildings didn’t match the plans approved by the city.

“You only get one historic district. You don’t get to zone another piece and call it historic tomorrow,” he said. “In my mind that is a precious commodity … Everything has to be done with a fine toothed comb. Dot those i’s cross the t’s.”

Mayor Jimmy Alexander, who serves on the Planning Commission, said the developer did have issues with the building design that needed to be addressed. Alexander said the developer won’t be able to occupy the building until they address those design issues.

“We want them to succeed, but we want them to do it correctly,” he said. “We can’t control the speed with which they do it, but we can make sure the final product looks like what was approved.” 

The town sent a letter to the developer earlier this year pointing out the discrepancies, and the contractor has started to address them.

The developer has changed some of the proposed uses for those buildings. One of the buildings was originally supposed to be an office building, but will now be a restaurant.

The city’s zoning ordinance allows both offices and restaurants on the property. But changing the use of the building required the developer to change the parking lot because restaurants tend to generate more traffic.

At first, the developer proposed a parking plan with more compact parking and short parking spaces. That plan didn’t meet the town’s parking requirements and would have required special approval from the Planning Commission.

However, instead of asking the Commission to approve those changes the developer decided to correct the areas that didn’t meet the parking requirements. The compliant plan doesn’t need special approval.

The new parking plan doesn’t use as much compact parking and the parking spaces are the correct length. According to the town’s zoning ordinance, the paragon lot has enough spaces to serve the restaurant.

However, changing the building from an office building into a restaurant will probably require some changes to the design. The kitchen would need ventilation which could be seen from outside the building.

The town’s Historic Zoning Commission would have to approve any changes to the building design.

Town Engineer Don Swartz said that he expects that the developer will be able to solve all of the remaining issues surrounding the development. He said the businesses would likely open within a few months. Alexander also expressed confidence that the development would be ready for business soon. 

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