The USACE Proposal

Proposal Details and Our Concerns

USACE Proposal and Projected Timeline

The Corps’ current timeline for consideration of its long-term public-private partnership is as follows:

November 2020

USACE posted an initial notice of a proposal requesting comment on the possibility of a long-term lease of the Cook Recreation Area’s 220 acres to a private entity, thus creating a public-private partnership. The Corps has done so in several other instances, notably Nashville Shores and Elm Hill Marina, now developed into a larger entity called Sun Life Marina. The latter sits directly across Percy Priest from the Cook Peninsula and has a commercial campground for RVs.

The Corps listed three options under consideration: (1) lease the entire area to a private partner; (2) lease the entire area with restrictions; (3) keep the public use area under USACE operation and management. This initial scoping notice requested public comment in the following thirty days to a Corps’ point person who is also doing an impact study on the natural and socio-economic effects of a private long term lease.

February 2021

USACE posted a second revised scoping notice with another 30 day public comment period, essentially the same as the initial posting.

See the USACE website for more details on the proposal.

September 2021

In a September released Notice of Availability to Lease, the Corps increased area acreage for lease from 220 to 300 acres, including 25 acres of water.
Visit USACE Website

Future Dates

Jan 10, 2022: Request for Proposal (RFP) available to interested private parties
Feb 25, 2022: Response to RFP from interested parties
Completion of impact study by USACE officer Mr. David Adams
USACE hosts public meeting
Recommendation of USACE concerning selected proposal
Public meeting on the Corps specific recommendation
USACE Decision

Three Main Areas of Concern

Destruction of Nature

Cutting of trees, destroying more of the native flora and fauna, and the striking karst landscape

Limited Access

Eliminating free areas and raising the cost of fee areas, thus curbing the ability of all socio-economic groups to leave the crowded city for short, peaceful breaks in nature.

Increased Danger

Increased danger along the narrow public road with narrow-to-non-existent
shoulders and with steep drop offs in some places.

The residential roads into Cook’s, especially South New Hope Road, are heavily travelled year around. Construction of many new homes which empty onto South New Hope have dramatically increased in the last decade, and now all available space is in demand for housing. Currently two proposed subdivisions are under construction and another tract of land has been acquired for that purpose. In addition to residential traffic, this road is part of the access to the Seven Points Campground. All of this traffic makes the roadway from I-40 to Stewart’s Ferry Road especially along South New Hope Road extremely congested. If one were to add more large RV campers per day to the already heavy residential and Seven Points traffic, the result would be overwhelming.

These corridors are even more dangerous because each road no sidewalks, narrow to non-existent shoulders, and some steep banks along the five miles. Trying to walk on each road is both problematic and dangerous. Many neighbors walk on the Old Hickory section down to Cook’s, some even with their dogs. All must watch for oncoming traffic; then stand warily on the ever so narrow shoulders, as traffic passes often at speeds considerably above posted limits. Even without the addition of RV’s, there is a great need for speed bumps and improved shoulders.
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