The commission voted unanimously Dec. 10 against the proposed project, set to be located on Long Lane near the Williamson County Ag Expo Center in Franklin. Developers had sought to have the city change its land use plan for the tract from single-family residential to recreation.
The proposed complex, a 25-acre center with a 100,000-square-foot arena, retail and office space, and parking space, received backlash from residents in the nearby Ladd Park neighborhood, who claimed the complex would be too close to residential areas and would create noise and traffic concerns.
The planning commission heard three hours of public comments Dec. 10 as a number of residents in the Ladd Park neighborhood spoke out against the development.
“While I’d love my kids to have access to hockey nearby in Franklin, it definitely does not need to be on this plot of land, which is on a hilltop overlooking our neighborhood,” Franklin resident Patrick Kenny said. "We shouldn’t have to worry about this. Envision Franklin is a guideline for y’all to protect what we all enjoy together as citizens. It’s irresponsible to make exceptions for things that obviously make no sense where they’re planning to put it.”
The city also received several letters in opposition to the arena, including from Williamson County Commissioners Chad Story and Betsy Hester.
Story called for the commission to consider existing developments and land use before voting on the complex.
"The proposed location for this new development would require a great deal of infrastructure and road improvements which is surrounded by existing residential development that have expressed opposition to this request," Story said in a letter. "Looking at the Cool Springs [area and] surrounding areas as a location to repurpose existing commercial space will continue to put commercial use in commercial multiuse areas instead of creating yet another issue of putting commercial use next door to existing residential development that longstanding land use plans did not call for."