The Eastover neighborhood is one step closer to installing public access gates, with its application for six expected to be reviewed on Thursday, October 25 by the Jackson Site Plan Review Committee.
The neighborhood is hoping to install six gates, one at Ridgewood Road and Eastover Drive, Quail Run Road and East Manor Drive, Meadowbrook Road and Dogwood Circle, Lake Circle at Rhymes Place, Eastbourne Place at Rhymes and Douglass Drive behind Covenant Presbyterian Church.
The application was submitted on October 5 and is expected to be evaluated by site plan review today.
“In the site plan review meeting, each department has a representative at the table who will give feedback about the gates, as well as their concerns, what is acceptable and what needs to be changed,” said Greater Eastover Foundation Executive Director Dana Robertson. “We’ll see what they give us back, and we’ll come back to them with our best effort.”
The gates are being installed at locations where the neighborhood previously put in brick columns. The columns mark the official entrances to the Eastover neighborhood.
The device at Lake Circle and Rhymes will be located at the first intersection behind Covenant Presbyterian and Casey Elementary, rather than at Lake Circle and Ridgewood.
And the gate at Douglass will be located near the Boy Scout hut behind Covenant Presbyterian, rather than Douglass and Ridgewood, Robertson said.
“We would love to place the gate closer to Ridgewood, but are concerned that it would potentially impede church traffic,” she said.
The gates are being installed at the neighborhood’s original platted entrances, which is allowed under Jackson’s gating 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.
Quail Run resident Becker Sams supports the gates because he wants to calm traffic at the intersection of Quail Run and East Manor.
Sams and his family have lived in the area for more than two years, and he has noticed some speeding, as well as motorists “barreling through” the stop sign there.
“I have an 18-month-old daughter … Once she gets to the age of playing in the yard and going outside, the last thing I want to worry about is who is going to be barreling around the corner at that intersection,” he said. “(With a gate), they would actually have to slow down and stop.”
Robertson echoed Sams’ concerns, adding that in 2016, her son was hit by a cut-through driver while riding a scooter at the corner of Quail Run and Meadowbrook.
“He was fortunate to have been thrown over the hood and on to the side of the road,” she said. “The scooter went under the car and was destroyed.”
East Manor resident Jonathan Lee, though, doesn’t support the gates.
Lee, who lives just outside of Eastover, said the gates would slow down his morning and afternoon commutes.
“At this point, with what they’ve got now, we’d have to go through two gates to get out,” he said.
Lee typically takes Quail Run to Meadowbrook Road on his way to work and uses the same route on his way home. To avoid the gates, he would have to go north and cut through several other neighborhoods to get to Northside Drive.
“Multiple neighborhoods have access to Meadowbrook. It doesn’t seem neighborly to potentially obstruct our ability to leave our homes, and this is an obstruction,” he said.
Some residents along Eastbourne are concerned because their homes are being left out.
“There are several people who are not in favor of gates from a philosophical standpoint,” Robertson said. “We understand and appreciate their concerns but we have to recognize that over 77 percent of the neighborhood voted in favor of gating, and that is a powerful statement.”
Once the site plan completes its review, the gates will be advertised in the local newspaper before the matter will be taken up by the city council.