Extended Comment Period – Natchez Trace Parkway Requests Civic Engagement for Scenic Impact Mitigation of Stephens Valley Development near Franklin, Tennessee


FRANKLIN, TN: The National Park Service (NPS) has extended the comment period for civic engagement about proposed options to screen a planned housing development. The Stephens Valley development will be built on the east, and eventually the west side, of the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) near milepost 440 in Davidson and Williamson Counties, TN. The development will be visible from the Parkway and will occupy an area historically managed as an open agricultural vista. The Parkway does not have authority to deny the construction of the development. Developers, however, are interested in working with Parkway staff to screen the road and development from the visitors’ view.

The current owners of the land on which the development will be built have a deeded easement across the Parkway lands. As such, they intend to exercise their right to construct a road underneath an existing Parkway bridge that will connect each side of the development (Figure 1).  Although the Parkway does not have the authority to deny consideration of the easement development, the Parkway will evaluate the impacts of such construction in an upcoming environmental assessment. This assessment will be released to the public for comment.

Developers have submitted three alternative landscaping plans to the Parkway for consideration. The landscaping, if implemented, would enhance the screening of the road and development from view of travelers along the Parkway.  Alternative 1 consists of planting berms and installing a stone wall adjacent to the Parkway motor road and planting an agricultural vista.

Alternative 2 consists of placing a wooden fence adjacent to the Parkway motor road and planting an agricultural vista. Alternative 3 consists of only placement of a wooden fence near the Parkway motor road and natural reforestation of the vista. Alternative 4 is the No Action Alternative, which would consist of no active screening on Parkway land; the agricultural vista would reforest naturally. A project map, visual representations of the action alternatives, and a photo exhibit of the area are available for review athttp://parkplanning.nps.gov/natr.

How to Provide Feedback

The public is invited to provide input at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/natr. Comments received during the public comment period will be used to help evaluate issues and concerns to be further addressed in the environmental review process. If you wish to comment, you can post comments online at the address above, or mail comments to:


Natchez Trace Parkway

2680 Natchez Trace Parkway

Tupelo, MS  38804.

Due to the federal government shutdown, the NPS is extending the previous comment period of November 27-December 31, 2018 to February 4 – February 15, 2019. Before you include your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information (PII) in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment – including your PII information – may be made public at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your PII from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.