The ordinance, drafted by consulting group Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative LLC, includes changes to short-term vacation rental permitting, the creation of zoning districts for multifamily structures and the creation of a Scenic Corridor Overlay District.
“This has been a two-year process to update the ordinance to better reflect Envision Franklin and to make vast improvements to the usability and clarity of our ordinance,” said Kelly Dannenfelser, the assistant director of the city’s Planning and Sustainability Department at the Nov. 26 meeting.
The new ordinance will grandfather in existing permitted short-term vacation rental properties, while new properties will be required to be confined to one lot per property and have the owner reside on the property.
New districts like Regional Commerce District 6 and 12 will allow for multifamily developments in the Cool Springs area of up to six and 12 stories high, respectively, with up to 40% of the structure’s square footage set to be used for multifamily living space.
"The common comment from developers was that this 40% maximum was too low,” Dannenfelser said at a Nov. 12 presentation of the new ordinance to the BOMA, who said moving to higher percentages of multifamily development would have to be approved through the BOMA plan approval process and Franklin’s Planning Commission.
Dannenfelser said city staff will likely revisit the provision after an infrastructure study of the Cool Springs area is completed.
The ordinance also includes the creation of a Scenic Corridor Overlay District designed with the intent to protect the city’s natural beauty and enhance the natural landscape through the use of front yard setbacks ranging from 80-300 feet along several roads in the city.
“One of the topics we’ve heard the most [about] throughout the years has been the preservation of rural character and scenic viewsheds,” Dannenfelser said.