The neighbors and some former residents of Haynes Manor subdivision in District 2 met at Faith United Baptist Church for their monthly neighborhood association meeting. Rev. Murray Thacker, president of the association presided over the meeting. Area Councilman Frank Harrison, District 2, was there for assistance and support of the district.
Monday, November 10, seemed to be a special night for the residents as they first heard from the north Nashville Metro Police precinct in regards to store busts and ethnic profiling. Officer Emmet Hunt, crime analysis and prevention, elaborated on recent incidents and concluded by offering the neighborhood the opportunity to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter.
However, that issue quickly took a back seat to the issue regarding the opportunity to make structural changes in the north/east Nashville area.
The residents of Haynes Manor have suffered from frequent blasting for many years. These blasts sometimes shake the houses and rattle the dishes as the tremors feel a lot like an earthquake. Those earth-shaking vibrations come from the blasts at the rock quarry located at the corner of Whites Creek Pike and Knight Road. The rock quarry, currently owned by the Rogers Group, provides rock that is sold and used to make concrete, cement and other rock based materials that are supplied to pave roads, construct buildings, pave driveways, highways, parking lots, etc.
A few years ago, the Haynes Manor residents were faced with the possibility of having homes built by Habitat for Humanity. There was a lot of disagreement concerning this matter.
Currently, the Haynes Manor area remains the site for Habitat Homes and other homes totaling approximately 1,000 additional dwellings to be built.
Current owners and management of the quarry, The Rogers Group, have developed a proposal that was presented to the neighborhood association members at Monday night’s meeting. This proposal is possibly an answer to the concerns of the residents regarding the Habitat Homes, the increased traffic, noise, dust, and yes, even the blasting.
Dan Rose, vice president of the General Council at The Rogers Group, conducted a 20-minute slide presentation explaining the causes for the current noise and how the problem would be rectified by relocating the operating equipment across the street and underground. The operation will be 100 feet underground, and the Rogers Group will give the land above ground to the neighborhood to utilize at their discretion.
The quarry will remain; however, tunnels would be built so that the entire pit operation would take place 100 feet underground, thus reducing traffic, noise, dust, blast tremors and a solution to stop the building of 1,000 additional dwellings in the area.
Following the presentation, it was clear that the residents felt a sense of unattended disappointment from previous requests and relationships that involved the quarry and homeowners having had damages that were not repaired by owners of the quarry as well as health issues due to the dust created by the quarry.
What is the real issue?
The residents asked relative questions regarding the time frame the project would take. The answer was: “Up to five years in its totality.”
The people asked about increased traffic because of the building. The minimal traffic would take place underground, once the machinery is moved. Concerning increased blasting, it was said there would be no additional blasting because the materials blasted from the tunnels would also be used just as the materials that come from the pit.
While the meeting had a variety of questions and concerns answered by Mr. Rose, it is unclear what direction the neighborhood would go. Some of the concerns seemed to be from unsettled issues from previous years. Is it a matter of trust? The residents who spoke up seemed not to trust that the Rogers Group would actually be a help to the community in their efforts to make their proposed changes.
But if the Haynes Manor neighbors are not in agreement to move forward with the project, it was also stated in the meeting that the operation would continue for the next 25 years as it is currently. There would be no decrease in noise, dust, traffic or blasting. The Habitat Houses will be built and the increase in traffic and other issues that come with 1,000 additional homes would remain.
“Sometimes things seem unfair, like the Rogers Groups basically saying that ‘you can accept our proposal and do it our way or you will get more of the same because we will continue to work under all circumstances’ including the increase in houses,” said a member of the neighborhood.
“I don’t know about the past issues that long-time residents may have had, but as a newer set of eyes and a fresh look on things, it appears that the people are too angry to even recognize their options as one that might help in solving some of the issues creating their complaints.”
One past resident commented that the residents were tired of having these operations being placed in ethnic neighborhoods. But the quarry was in operation long before the Haynes Manor neighborhoods was developed. Shutting the quarry down was not one of the options.
Is it possible that the neighbors are too angry about past issues to really consider the current solutions?
The Haynes Manor Neighborhood Association encourages its residents to attend the monthly meetings in order to keep abreast of the issues in their community.