A public hearing regarding approval of the Greater Eastover Neighborhood Foundation’s plan to add five public access gates is scheduled on Tuesday June 29.
The hearing is scheduled at 10 a.m. at City Hall in the Council Chambers.
The foundation seeks to add gates at Eastover Drive at Ridgewood Road, Eastbourne Place at Ridgewood Road, Lake Circle between Restbrook Place and Rhymes Place, Douglass Drive between Ridgewood and Lake Circle and Quail Run Road at East Manor Drive.
The city’s site review committee and city staff have reviewed the plans for gates and ensured each one meets the required design standards of the city’s gating ordinance.
The location of the gates and details shared during the community meeting earlier this year are still accurate and were not substantially changed since the initial presentation, according to Jordan Rae Hillman, director of Planning and Development for the city of Jackson.
These concerns are addressed in the council order if approved:
- The request that the order approving the gates include language acknowledging that the Quail Ridge Road gate must remain two way.
- The request that the Quail Ridge Road gate be programmed to remain open during peak traffic times.
- The request that the Eastbourne Place gate be programmed to remain open during time required for school traffic management at Casey Elementary.
- All gates have pedestrian walk arounds as required by ordinance.
The foundation must foot the bill for the installation and maintenance of each gate. Each gate would be equipped with a battery backup so it could operate in case of a power failure and would include a “walk-around” so that pedestrians do not have to walk through the gate.
Residents had the opportunity to learn more about the gating process, hear about gating details for each proposed location and voice support or concerns during a March 11 meeting conducted via Zoom by Hillman.
During the meeting, the proposed gate location at Quail Run Road at East Manor Drive drew the most concerns, with some residents saying the gate wouldn’t control speeding or deter crime and would be inconvenient. Quail Run Road provides a route to Meadowbrook Road for residents in the neighborhoods near Wedgewood Street and Southwood Road.
Some residents of East Manor Drive sought reassurance that the gate at Quail Run Road at East Manor Drive would not be converted to be a one-way in or out gate at some point in the future. They also suggested the gate be left open during the day to ease traffic flow.
The foundation agreed during the meeting to write into their application as a stipulation that it would not ever seek to limit the Quail Ridge gate to one way in or out and tentatively agreed that the gate should be programmed to be open at peak times.
Also raised as a concern was that the Quail Ridge gate may be difficult to see due to a blind approach. The city planned to study that during its site plan review and determine if adjustments are needed.
Some residents said during the meeting that the gates would discourage crime, while others considered the gates useful tools.
The process for applying for gates has changed since Eastover’s earlier attempts at gating, Hillman said, because the city gating ordinance was revised in November 2020.
“Many of you who were involved in this gate application remember that we had an attempt to do this back in May of 2019, April of 2019, and that there was a lot of frustration about information shared,” she said during the virtual meeting. “There was a lot of false information
shared, there was very little information shared publicly and there was a lot of frustration that there wasn’t an opportunity to have a community meeting and to talk about it and to know what was going on before the (city) council heard it.”
To begin the gating process, the city requires a neighborhood organization to have a pre-application meeting where a conceptual drawing for proposed gates is submitted to Planning and Development. Hillman met with Robertson and Jason Buckley of JBHM’s Land Planning
After the pre-application meeting, Hillman authorized the process of notifying individuals, who live near the proposed gate locations. Signs were posted at the proposed locations and a notice was posted on the city’s website.
No other requests for public access gates are before the city, Hillman said.