Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

City Square owner defends plans for Hendersonville solar project | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

A Hendersonville business owner who wants to install solar panels in the parking lot of his shopping center says the project will benefit the city, even though others have said it doesn’t belong on Main Street.

After being denied twice by members of the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission, Greg Smith will ask city leaders on Tuesday to approve plans for two large canopies in front of the City Square Shopping Center.

The shopping center owner says the canopies will support solar panels to help power the center and several electric vehicle charging stations already in place.

Hendersonville Planning Director Fred Rogers says the metal structures would not fit in with the other buildings along Main Street.

“It’s an aesthetics issue,” Rogers said. “The planning commission feels it would be contrary to revitalizing Main Street.”

More http://www.tennessean.com/viewart/20131017/HENDERSONVILLE01/310170133/City-Square-owner-defends-plans-Hendersonville-solar-project

City Square owner defends plans for Hendersonville solar project | The Tennessean | tennessean.com

A Hendersonville business owner who wants to install solar panels in the parking lot of his shopping center says the project will benefit the city, even though others have said it doesn’t belong on Main Street.

After being denied twice by members of the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission, Greg Smith will ask city leaders on Tuesday to approve plans for two large canopies in front of the City Square Shopping Center.

The shopping center owner says the canopies will support solar panels to help power the center and several electric vehicle charging stations already in place.

Hendersonville Planning Director Fred Rogers says the metal structures would not fit in with the other buildings along Main Street.

“It’s an aesthetics issue,” Rogers said. “The planning commission feels it would be contrary to revitalizing Main Street.”

He added the canopies don’t comply with standards set forth in the city’s Design Review Manual.

“As Hendersonville has grown rapidly, some of the buildings and areas developed have not received sufficient attention and residents are disappointed in their quality,” reads the 1990 manual that planning commission members use as a guide to approve and deny projects like Smith’s.

“The purpose of this manual is to communicate a set of design standards for new development in the city aimed at ensuring that Hendersonville lives up to its residents’ aspirations.”

Rogers said that while there are no specific guidelines for solar structures, Smith’s request best fits into the guidelines for fuel center canopies, which do not allow exposed metal.

Rogers said that because of the city’s guidelines, the look of buildings on Main Street has improved.

Many businesses, such as Taco Bell, McDonald’s, KFC and Arby’s, have conformed to the new standards as they have torn down and rebuilt, he added.

But Smith said a visible location like his is a way to show how forward-thinking the city is — or at least can be.

“I see this as a wonderful opportunity for the city to develop additional standards for renewable energy products, because that’s the future that’s coming,” he said. “People can see solar panels on Main Street and understand that businesses can be responsible and that business owners aren’t reluctant to invest in projects that have a wide range of benefits.”

Under the proposed plan, one canopy would cover four of the eight electric vehicle charging stations already in place on the east end of the parking lot. Another larger canopy would be located in the middle of the parking lot and would cover a double row of 16 parking spaces.

Smith also plans to re-stripe the parking lot and upgrade the landscaping by adding picnic tables and benches.

Smith, who installed solar panels on the roof of the shopping center in 2010, thinks it’s also important for people to see investment going into Main Street.

Completed in the early 1970s, the City Square Shopping Center was the largest commercial building in Sumner County for more than a decade, Smith said. Unlike many older shopping centers — and even the newer Streets of Indian Lake — his complex is full of tenants.

Smith points to similar solar structures in Franklin, Jackson and Clarksville.

Shade and shelter

“They’re starting to spring up all over as a good way to promote renewable energy and a good way to provide shade for parking,” he said.

Rogers said the city supports other forms of energy as well as electric vehicles, pointing to two charging stations at City Hall.

He could even see the city adopting guidelines for solar panels in the future, just not necessarily for the middle of town.

He said Smith is proposing the most basic of solar panel structures, while others, such as on Franklin’s Nissan campus, have blended in better with their surroundings.

The planning commission has also suggested that Smith place the canopies behind the shopping center, Rogers noted, but Smith has rejected that idea.

Even though the planning commission denied his proposal, Smith said he is hopeful that members of the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen will approve it Tuesday. Members of the city’s general committee on Oct. 8 recommended the project after he said he would make some cosmetic changes to the canopies that he has already purchased.

The full board will hear from Smith, as well as why Rogers opposes the project, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Share

Leave a Reply