Wilson County and its communities of Lebanon, Mt Juliet and Watertown, share a proud history that is reflected in its people, the landscape and the architecture. Yet the arrangement of those people, of the landscape, and of the architecture has changed substantially in the last three decades. The fate of Cedar City is now inextricably tied to that of its neighbor, Nashville. The development pressure from the west shows no sign of abatement, and local decision-makers will have to consider how to harness that powerful force to maximize the gain for the area’s citizens.
While looking west towards Mt Juliet and beyond to Nashville will be essential, it’s also instructive to look southeast towards Watertown. Watertown’s isolation and “Mayberry” reputation may not at first blush seem to hold clues about the future, but a close look reveals some potent messages. The single highest value per acre reading in all of Wilson County is on the square in little Watertown. The locals, as well as many outsiders, have recognized the value that can come from nurturing and preserving a historic town center and maintaining it at the heart of the community’s identity.
AICP, Planning Director- City of Lebanon