School Board Zoning Comments May 2017

Good Evening, All,

William Murtagh, the First Keeper of the National Register of Historic

Places stated, “It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages

the past…. in a conversation with the present…. over a mutual concern

for the future.”


For years, Citizens for Old Natchez Trace have been advocating for the

protection and preservation of the historic, scenic, culturally significant

and environmentally sensitive resources of the landscape Stephens

Valley is being built on.


History is one of the important subjects taught in the curriculum of

studies in our schools.  Our county is blessed with a rich inventory of

historic treasures.  “Historic places give us roots. Historic places

enhance community pride. Historic places teach and inspire us. Historic

places make our communities more attractive. Historic places

encourage travel and tourism. And preserving historic places is good for

the environment”….according the South Carolina Department of

Archives and History.


Each year the Tennessee Preservation Trust receives nominations for its

Ten in Tenn Most Endangered Historic Properties List.  The hope it that

calling attention to these valuable historic resources will assist in efforts

to preserve and protect them.  Mega density residential growth has

been one of the major threats to historic resources. 


In 2014, the Old Natchez Trace was named to the Ten in Tenn List and

in 2016, the Natchez Trace Historic Rural Landscape was named to this

List.  Stephens Valley was named as the major threat to this historic

rural landscape. 


It is very true that historic places give us roots, enhance community

pride and teach and inspire us.  Many of us here this evening are

dedicated to our community’s preservation and to do that we must

push back against the mega density of Stephens Valley which will cause

irreparable harm to our historic, scenic community. 


While school zoning is always an emotional issue, there are mitigating

circumstances involved with zoning Stephens Valley’s not even here yet

students. School officials are charged with educating our children.  I

would hope that they would also understand and support the

preservation of the particularly unique rich and diverse history of this

area that will be irrevocably harmed by this huge subdivision. 

Mr. Rochford stated his motives are pure.  I submit he left out a word. 

His motives are for pure profit.  And in pursuit of his profits he will be

destroying history.  His mega density calls for a turn lane to be cut into

Old Natchez Trace from Sneed Road.  The Old Natchez Trace was built

by order of President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 and has been

operational ever since then.  We are accustomed to the Harpeth River

flooding it at times…..but drowning in never ending traffic will be the

death knell for the Trace.  Sneed Road’s stone walls are also in



I submit the history of our community’s landscape should be a


mitigating factor in the zoning decision for Stephens Valley.

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