Friday, March 08, 2024


 From Megan Podsiedlik, reposted from The Pamphleteer, March 7, 2024- Last night’s meeting was pretty straightforward. The council breezed through the 145-item agenda in four hours, passing much of the legislation on consent.

At the top of the evening, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission gained a few more appointees. Following adamant support from Nashville’s walk/bike community, Freddie O’Connell sponsored legislation to reestablish the committee toward the end of his time on the council. As new members of the commission, Ashleigh Wilson, Matthew Hertz, and Katherine McDonell will work alongside the Vision Zero advisory committee to promote cycling and pedestrian safety. 

One of the nine pieces of legislation that makes up the NEST initiative was brought forward on first reading. The bill would create new regulations to “eliminate minimum lot areas for mobile homes, multifamily houses, and non-residential uses” in residential multifamily zoning districts. In the end, the bill was indefinitely deferred; however, Councilmember Hortin assured the council that it would be brought back onto the docket once stormwater studies are completed. 

Earlier in the meeting, the council heard a resolution which would request a number of departments to carry out a “comprehensive analysis” regarding zoning that would increase density in Nashville. It would also ask those departments to “make recommendations regarding land use policy which incorporates affordable and workforce housing strategies that can be supported by existing and planned infrastructure.”

This legislation comes in response to the deluge of changes brought forward by at-large Councilmember Quin Evans Segall at the end of January. Though the legislation was deferred for one meeting, Evans Segall hopped onto the resolution as a sponsor. A diplomatic move, considering her previous assertion that the NEST legislation made adjustments to Metro’s zoning codes based on extensive research.

Also moving through council is the Imagine East Bank plan. Councilmember Jacob Kupin moved to defer a resolution codifying Metro’s agreement to bring the Tennessee Performing Arts Center across the river. This two-meeting deferment syncs the resolution’s reading with the final reading of the bill, establishing the East Bank master development agreement and ground lease agreements.

Finally, the council is still allocating APRA money. Members agreed to put $225,000 toward small business recovery, $75,000 of which is specifically earmarked for minority-owned businesses. Metro’s immigrant legal services were also extended via a whopping $1,630,679 in APRA funds. Lastly, $2,395,322 was allocated to “provide legal representation to low and moderate-income Davidson County renters to defend against landlord eviction.”

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