Two Northeast neighborhoods are a step closer to securing their borders.
Gating applications for Woodland Hills in Fondren and Eastover are on their way to the Jackson City Council, having recently been signed off on by the city’s site plan review committee.
Public hearings are slated for April 30 for the Woodland Hills Conservation Association (WHCA) and the Greater Eastover Foundation (GEF), both of which are hoping to install public access gates at their major entrances.
The plans were recently cleared by site plan review, after neighborhoods agreed to make several revisions.
In Eastover’s case, the neighborhood agreed to just five gates, one fewer than the six they originally requested.
For Woodland Hills, changes included moving the devices away from water and sewer infrastructure and making adjustments to one gate to accommodate motorists wishing to turn around rather than going through the gate.
Eastover’s application calls for installing one gate each at Ridgewood Road and Eastover Drive, Quail Run Road and East Manor Drive, Lake Circle at Rhymes Place and E. Bourne Place behind Covenant Presbyterian Church.
GEF also requested a gate at Meadowbrook Road and Dogwood Circle, but the gate was removed due to the fire department’s concern that it would impact response times, according to Jordan Hillman, deputy director of planning and development.
The site plan committee is made up of representatives from various city departments, including planning and development, public works’ traffic division and the Jackson Fire Department.
The committee is responsible for reviewing proposals and ensuring they don’t violate city code, inhibit response time for first responders or negatively impact city infrastructure and the like.
Other modifications to GEF’s plans were made to accommodate traffic and the neighborhood’s narrow roadways.
“The streets in Eastover are significantly narrower than most of the streets gates have been installed on,” Hillman said. “Typically, gates per the ordinance require a center median with a push button as a failsafe if the automatic entry fails. In the case of Eastover, the fire department was concerned that the placement of a median and push button would result in lanes too narrow for fire truck response.”
To get around that, GEF agreed to use “highway-grade” radar as a failsafe, as well as install an emergency access box to allow responders to open the gate manually if need be.
Another change included moving the gate at Eastover and Ridgewood farther away from the intersection to allow “safe queuing at the gate without interfering with intersection traffic,” Hillman said.
GEF Executive Director Dana Robertson wouldn’t say if she was pleased with the changes, only that the application was “tweaked” to the committee’s satisfaction.
“They have signed off on our proposals and we now have the opportunity to before the city council,” she said.
Woodland Hills’ application includes installing the gates at Glenway Drive and Old Canton Road and where Ridge Drive and Wood Dale Drive split.
Site plan officials asked that the plans be modified to ensure that one gate was moved away from water and sewer infrastructure, while the fire department is requiring lane widths to be 15.5 feet per lane at Glenway and 18 feet at Ridge Drive, Hillman said.
The Ridge Drive device also had to be adjusted so motorists could turn around without having to drive through the gate, and to make left turns safer.
“Additional information was requested and provided regarding how the neighborhood vote was conducted,” she said.
“The discrepancy was between whether they (the association) only counted votes from occupied residences, versus counting votes from all property owners. After reviewing the detailed votes, it was evident that no matter how the ballots were counted, they had more than sufficient numbers to meet the required percentage by ordinance.”
Seventy-seven percent of homeowners in the neighborhood signed on in favor of the gates.
Under city code, 75 percent of home and property owners in the area must sign on before a gating application would be considered.
The hearings are slated for Tuesday, April 30, at Jackson City Hall, during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting begins at 10 a.m.