Saturday, July 29, 2017

Update" What's on the Council agenda for August 1st? Banning decorative rope lighting,

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. This will again be a meeting that is more boring than usual. There is nothing on the agenda likely to generate passion or debate. To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video on this blog the day after or the day after that and provide commentary.

If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you need a copy of the Council agenda and the Council staff analysis or you really will not know what is going on. You can get the agenda and analysis at the highlighted links.

Bills on Public hearing:
This is the Council meeting at which the Council hears from the public on rezoning bills. Rezoning hearings bore me and I don't even try to form an opinion on the merits every rezoning bill before the Council.  People who don't care one way or the other do not show up and with rare exceptions the only people who speak in favor of rezoning bills are those who will benefit from the rezoning such as the property owner or the developer.  Opponents always make the same argument which boils down to one of these: 1) the change will result in stressing the infrastructure such as too much traffic on the roadway or overcrowd the schools, 2) will cause flooding, and 3) will change for the worse the character of the community.

I don't see any of the rezoning bills that I expect to be particularly controversial.  There are three that will that impose some sort of overlay on a neighborhood and sometimes these can be controversial but usually the council member has tweaked the overlay boundaries or overlay restriction to have placated opponents before it gets to public hearing.  An overlay keeps the basic zoning in place but adds an additional layer of restrictions that address what development in the neighborhood should look like. This is an attempt to keep new development from being out of character with what is already in the neighborhood. Below are the only bills on public hearing of interest.

BILL NO. BL2017-704 would ban rope lighting on a property that adjoins an arterial and collector street everywhere in Davidson County except in the core of downtown Nashville.  Why?  I am not buying the argument that this lighting is a hazard to motorist. I guess this means unless you live on a side street you can't use this popular form of lighting for Christmas decorations.  Is Opryland going to have end their Christmas light extravaganza? 
BILL NO. BL2017-798 is a rezoning bill in Councilman Syracuse's district. It changes the zoning on a piece of property from RS20 to SP zoning to  to permit an accessory hair salon. It is disapproved by the Planning Commission and that is the only reason I am pointing out this bill. It can pass Second reading by a simply majority but will require 27 votes to be approved on Third Reading. This is similar to a disapproved bill in Councilman Scott Davis's district last meeting that rezoned a property from R6 to SP to permit a recording studio. In my view, low impact commercial such as recording studios and hair salons and a few other uses should be permitted in residential neighborhoods. Since there are not permitted, the only way to allow these uses is to rezone the parcel with that accessory use as a permitted activity.
Resolutions: None of them appear controversial or of much interest. Most are accepting grants or authorizing the application for grants. 

Bills on Second Reading:
BILL NO. BL2017-687 establishes a process and procedure for naming public buildings, structures and spaces of the Metropolitan Government.  I like this.  I think usually you should have to be dead before you get something named after you. This was deferred from May 2nd and again deferred July 6th at the request of the sponsor to this meeting.
BILL NO. BL2017-829  would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair. Currently if someone steels or runs over your waste container at the back of your house on the alley, or if someone steels it, the homeowner has to pay to replace it. I do not think that is fair. I support this bill.

Bills on Third Reading: All of them are zoning bills. The only one of interest is BILL NO. BL2017-719  which is only important because it is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission.  It changes from R6 to SP zoning on property located at 2407 Brasher Avenue to allow a recording studio. It will take 27 votes to pass. 

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Greer Stadium redevelopment faces mounting pushback in Metro Council

by Nate Rau, The Tennessean - Before the plan to redevelop the Greer Stadium property even materializes as actual legislation, the proposal is receiving pushback from the at-large members of the Metro Council. The five at-large members — John Cooper, Erica Gilmore, Bob Mendes, Jim Shulman and Sharon Hurt — sent a letter to Mayor Megan Barry on July 19 expressing concerns about the Cloud Hill development. Cooper has already been outspoken against the proposal.

At this point, the at-large members say they prefer for the property that previously was home to a minor league baseball stadium to be converted to parkland. (link)

My Comment: I agree.  The baseball site should revert to park land.  The site destroys the view of the hill and development of the baseball park  will make the fort look crowded. With the baseball field gone, the view looking up at the fort and the view from the fort will both be more impressive. As Nashville continues to grow we need more reserved open spaces, not less.

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Vice President Mike Pence to be keynote speaker at TNGOP Statesmen's Dinner.

Vice President Mike Spence
Press release, Nashville, TN., July 15, 2017 - Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott
Golden released the following statement on the 2017 Statesmen's Dinner:
I am very excited to announce that the Tennessee Republican Party's Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Statesmen's Dinner will be Vice President Mike Pence. This is an exciting time for the Tennessee Republican Party as we continue to grow and gear up for 2018's critical elections. With Vice President Mike Pence as our Keynote Speaker and Governor Bill Haslam as our Dinner Chair, we expect this will be one of the largest and most successful Statesmen's Dinners to date. It will certainly be an event no Republican in Tennessee will want to miss. 
The 2017 Statesmen's Dinner will be held on August 3rd at the Music City Center in Nashville with receptions beginning at 5:30pm and the dinner starting at 6:30pm. Past Statesmen’s speakers include former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (2016), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (2015), New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (2014), U.S. Senator Tim Scott (2013), former Vice President Dick Cheney (2002), and former Vice President Dan Quayle (1989).

For ticket information, follow this link.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nashville City Wide Community Meeting

From the Metro Council:

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Why Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American' is un-American

President Donald Trump has spent a week encouraging us all to buy products "Made in America."  There is nothing patriotic, virtuous, are wise about buying made in America products.  Buying only made in America products may put Americans out of work. The last thing we are the world needs is a trade war.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

1ST TUESDAY Lunch with Speaker Beth Harwell

Beth Harwell
Tuesday, August 1st at Waller Law, 511 Union Street.
Doors open at 11:00; Lunch at 11:30. Program at Noon. Q&A ending at 1pm.
Event is $20 for 1ST TUESDAY Members and $25 for Guests. To attend purchase your ticket at and click on ''Join Us''.

Speaker Harwell has joined the gubernatorial race and will
share her visions and plans for TN. Topics will include:
1) Nashville ''Sanctuary City'' fight
2) Funding TN Transportation needs - Gas taxes vs Sales taxes
3) Addressing prison costs and reforms
4) Looming topics given TN rapid growth ... and much more!

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