January 20, 2016

Franklin Home Page
by Emily West

After a decade of progress, Franklin has almost reached the level of building that existed before the recession.

In 2015, Franklin issued 1,757 building permits, which includes both residential and commercial. The permit values total up to $471 million.

“In the last three years we’ve seen $1.3 billion in permitted development,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey said. “It speaks confidently of our area, but that pace of development can be challenging. But it’s quality development, and it’s strong.”

The highest year for permits submitted happened in 2007, topping out at 1,421 permits representing $124 million. There were fewer permits in 2008, 1,138, but those represented $601 million in value.

Stuckey said that type of total usually means a larger development such as Cool Springs’ Ovation or Franklin Park bumped up the total.

The recession was more obvious in 2009, when 765 building permits were issued.

Residential – houses, townhouses, and apartments – have climbed to new levels overall. In 2015, the city issued building permits for more than 1,200 dwelling units. That number in 2006 was 818. In 2009, it sank even lower to 168.

“Those last three years are remarkable,” he said. “It’s been a decent balance between residential and nonresidential.”

Like during the recession, Franklin will evaluate its planning and anticipation of infrastructure needs. Stuckey said they would like to stay ahead with what’s financially feasible. He wants the Board of Mayor and Alderman to start thinking in terms of a decade rather than five years.

With the approaching budget season ahead, Stuckey said that’s what he plans on doing for fiscal year 2016-2017.

“We look at property along the Carothers corridor and Berry Farms that still has significant capacity and provide for the infrastructure that will support it whether its water or sewer,” he said. “Roadways are a challenge and they drive traffic. We look at commute patterns. You really try to have the plans in place that provide for the infrastructure as it grows.”

He and city staff will also evaluate road impact fees, which has become a popular topic among Franklin board members. As more and more projects will use annexed county roads, it will become a point of question of who will take the role of improving them – the city or the developer.

As Franklin has grown this past decade, Stuckey pointed out that they have even turned down some developments because BOMA and staff determined the infrastructure couldn’t support anything new.

“The Del Webb community was one of those, and part of that discussion was the board wasn’t comfortable with proceeding with that annexation because of the key infrastructure wasn’t in place,” Stuckey said.