Highway 76 Overlay 2

Stacey Streetman

Clarksville officials have a plan to create a design overlay district for Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway under consideration that would be instrumental to enhance the aesthetics of the city by imposing architectural design guidelines and sign standards. 

Ward 10 Councilwoman Stacey Streetman plans to sponsor a resolution that would request the Regional Planning Commission to perform a study for the possible overlay. 

She introduced the resolution Dec. 2 at the city’s executive session, or informal meeting. 

“We’re seeing growth in that area with businesses,” Streetman said. “We want to protect that area so that it continues looking nice. It’s one of the entrances to our community.” 

Streetman told her fellow council members that residents in the Sango area are concerned about protecting the investments in the area, that currently include a Publix grocery store and several other newer businesses opening up along Highway 76. 

“Everything that is being built out there is looking really great,” Streetman said. “They’re doing a great job.” 

Jeff Tyndall, director of the Regional Planning Commission, said the Common Design Review Board would oversee the overlay if the RPC is given direction to create it. 

Though there is already zoning in place citywide, Tennessee allows cities to enact architectural overlays, which already exist in areas on Madison Street and downtown Clarksville, according to Tyndall. 

“On Madison Street, it’s actually broken up into several different subareas, from the historic houses near Pageant Lane all the way out to near the city limits near Farmer’s Road,” Tyndall said. “Highway 76 is already a limited access highway without a lot of driveways.” 

On Highway 76, Tyndall said the quality of the construction was already positive due to the price of the land in that area, but an overlay would go a long way to preserve the property values and the architecture of the buildings under construction. 

While properties already developed will be grandfathered into any future plans or overlays, Tyndall said he feels it’s a good time to put together a plan and implement it. 

The process of developing within the overlay would add time and money to what’s already zoned for properties on MLK Boulevard, according to Tyndall. 

“It could be two to six more weeks and a couple hundred more dollars to go through the process,” Tyndall said. “It could also be a couple hundred, or thousand, more dollars of what would need to be done to your site based on the minimum versus what a design overlay would require.” 

The Clarksville City Council was scheduled to vote on the proposed resolution Dec. 5 during its formal meeting. It would take a single vote for a resolution to be approved in the city. 

If approved, Tyndall said it would be two or three months before a plan could be put together. 

If the council agrees to the overlay Thursday, a plan would be created and return to council members in the form of an ordinance for them to review and approve.

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