Pattie Graben came home to find several wooden stakes in the front yard of her Mount Juliet home marking where her property ends and Wilson County’s begins.
The county is expanding North Greenhill Road in front of her home from two lanes to six. Plans also include building a new high school to help with overcrowding at the current school.
“I’ve been here for 20 years and I love my home,” said Graben. “I don’t want to look at a building in front of my house or the traffic every single morning.”
Mount Juliet Public Works Director Jessica Gore said the part of Graben’s yard that was sectioned off with stakes wasn’t hers to begin with.
“There could be the perception that the stakes are in someone’s yard when they are in fact within the county road right of way,” Gore said.
That means the county doesn’t need permission to take the land.
Graben is also concerned the road expansion and construction of a new high school across from her home will mean more traffic.
“We’ve got an email from TDOT that there is no traffic impact study for this location at all,” said Graben. “It’s the fear of the kids’ safety.”
“It’s just hard to fathom why there’s this notion that because the school is here that it’s going to increase traffic. It’s not. The same people who live back there now are going to live back there when the school is built and they’re just going to have a shorter commute,” said Wilson County Schools spokesperson Jennifer Johnson.
The city said when the road expansion project is done, which also includes adding a traffic light and crosswalk, Graben’s yard will include even more green space than she initially had.
Graben said she understands the need for a new school, but worries this project will do more harm than good.
“There has got to be another place that has less traffic, less congestion to build a high school on and not invade everyone’s privacy,” Graben said.
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