When Atlanta-based Beazer Homes identified a 98-acre parcel of farmland in Hermitage, Tennessee, for the proposed Magnolia Farms residential development, they solicited Gresham Smith with designing the planned Nashville community. With the existing site zoned for agricultural use, we were challenged with obtaining the necessary rezoning and entitlements, which ultimately green-lighted this new 289-home subdivision consisting of cottage-style and single-family homes.
year process for rezoning approvals
Designing a New Community in the HesseyKnown as Hessey Farm, the sprawling acreage located along Hoggett Ford Road had operated as a livestock farm for more than a century and includes natural resources such as a large pond, several streams and a spectacular oak tree. We designed the new community to preserve the site’s precious natural features, including the legacy oak and pond, which will serve as focal points in Magnolia Farm’s amenity area. The property’s steep slopes and heavily wooded areas were also protected and act as a perimeter buffer between the lots and nearby residences. Additionally, the dedicated right-of-way for Hoggett Ford Road was realigned to avoid impacting an existing spring and its surrounding natural areas.
The Power of PerseverancePerhaps the most significant project challenge was gaining approval for the specific-plan zoning and the community plan amendment from Metro Council. Taking two years to complete, the process involved the preparation of multiple preliminary roadway and lot layouts as well as numerous neighborhood meetings in which the proposed plans were presented to residents—many of them expressing concerns about added traffic congestion and preferring that the property remain a farm. Gresham Smith’s design solutions, including new traffic signals and connectivity to mitigate traffic issues in the area, effectively addressed the residents’ concerns and helped the project secure Metro Council’s support.
The project strikes a delicate balance between protecting natural resources and providing housing to meet the needs of a growing Nashville community.