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Davidson East: East Nashville, Inglewood, Madison, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory


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East Nashville’s popular Five Points neighborhood will lose its status as one of the county's urban “redevelopment districts” at the end of the year, allowing more mixed-use development to be fast-tracked.

The board of the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency recently decided that the commercial and nightlife hub is no longer blighted or in disrepair as it was when it received the designation 30 years ago.

Developers cheered on the change, but three neighborhood groups in the area balked at the decision.

Reverting to base zoning would simplify development guidelines and allow by-right residential construction that matches surrounding properties. 

The area will remain a state-designated Opportunity Zone — a federal incentive meant for economically distressed areas — and developers can continue to enjoy tax breaks to build there, according to MDHA officials.

But commercial sections of Woodland Street, Fatherland Street, and South 11th and 12th streets, will no longer be governed by MDHA Redevelopment District design guidelines. Those include height limits of roughly four stories and standards for windows, building materials, street setbacks, parking, signs and other design considerations. 

More at The Tennessean here:


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1 hour ago, bwithers1 said:

There are some elements of this article that are on-point and some that make me cringe. For instance, the rezoning plan that I have proposed is intentionally trying NOT to revert to the existing CS base zoning that litters the area and that the redevelopment district was intentionally designed to supersede. Instead, the rezoning plan is intended to change the base zoning to more pedestrian-oriented MUN-A, MUL-A and occasionally OR20-A and RM20-A base zoning that does automatically what the redevelopment district required manual overrides and sometimes human judgement calls to do: set build-to standards for sidewalk-oriented building placement, eliminate curb cuts where possible and limit vehicular access to alleys where they are present, in most cases.

It is also not necessarily the case that "developers cheered on this change." Developers would typically like more zoning entitlements than what is proposed in my rezoning plan - or the elimination of restrictions entirely. And one of the folks who wrote in to support closing out the redevelopment district and switching it over to a base zoning change update is a former Lockeland Springs resident who still owns property along tornado-damaged Holly Street, who is a land use attorney by trade, and who is a  Five Points-area small business owner who served on the Metro Historic Zoning Commission. The fact that this base zoning change update has been drafted in consultation with the Metro Historic Zoning staff gets a bit lost in this article.

On the other hand, MDHA Commissioner Ansari's comments are on point: some of the neighborhood representatives have stated that their desire for keeping the redevelopment district in place is specifically to keep development from occurring, even if that development meets most or all of the tenets of the redevelopment district design guidelines that they wish to extend.

The framing of the Tennessean article ("developers cheering", etc.) plays to the worst elements of our public feedback process. We have plenty of people that want to believe there's an option to pause everything and preserve the neighborhood in amber, and this kind of thing tees them up to get blindly angry about the decision in front of us without stopping to understand it at all.

The reality is, as long as Nashville's star continues to rise, demand for this neighborhood is only going to keep growing, and nothing is going to stop developers from pouring money in to meet that demand. Our zoning certainly shapes how and where they apply those resources, but there is no option to stop everything and preserve the neighborhood with no changes. We can incentivize good development that will result in a pleasant neighborhood, or we can incentivize poor development and live with the results. Neither option is going to save Fond Object though.

Right now most residential zoning in the neighborhood is ridiculously restrictive. The result is that developers pour money into gutting & rebuilding the few available houses for the ultra-wealthy, gradually pushing out the middle class, and now the upper middle class. That's why we get to listen to The Promise making us all squirm because the local elementary school is 96% white. When you have to be a millionaire to afford to live within 10 blocks, that's what happens. It's depressing to hear everybody contort themselves trying to come up with ways to plaster over that problem without addressing the root cause. Allow more housing! (Or I guess admit that resegregation is an unfortunate but acceptable consequence of our desired restrictions.)

Now we have to make a decision about Five Points, and it looks like it's getting caught up in the same kneejerk resistance.

What's sad about it is that it's our process that's broken. Taking every single development decision to public meetings for review and assent is an absolute recipe to bring out the cranks and the haters who love to exercise that veto power. 90% of the neighborhood lives here because it's walkable and has local shops and restaurants and great neighbors, and they would love the results of mixed use development of the RM20 variety. But they're leading busy lives, not monitoring every development so they can show up to all these meetings and provide counterweight to the regular protestors. So a small section of loud angry voices dominate the feedback process, and we get a crap result like a dozen bland condos planted smack in the middle of Five Points.

This update is, in my opinion, a conservative effort to update a small area of our zoning into something that makes more sense. But it will 100% result in a wildly better Five Points in 10 or 20 years than reversion to crappy 80s-style commercial zoning, if it happens. So here's hoping you get it through Brett. I'm sure you'll be exhausted if you do, but we have many other neighborhood centers that are crying out for something similar.

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Make the Tennessean go back and clarify the article Brett. Pretty sad they continue to screw things up by not reporting things correctly. I have seen the same thing with the TV stations too. They all have a slant for some reason. I just do not understand why the information can't just be reported accurately. 

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The Neighborhood: “Let’s extend the overlay so we can do this rezoning right. There is A LOT to digest here and tons of things to consider on rezones of this magnitude.”

Brett: “No.”

There may very well be unintended consequences to this plan that will need to be worked out now by December. And if it doesn’t get worked out, we’re hosed because we have nothing to fall back on.

From the article:

"This (Redevelopment District) document needs to go ahead and expire. I will oppose any extension of it," Withers said. "It creates ambiguity and does not help the neighborhoods in any meaningful way. I have not seen anything that these neighborhoods were concerned about stopping that this document stopped in the last 10 years."

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As far as MDHA goes and the redevelopment districts being Five Points, SoBro, or other areas of town, I am for getting them out of the overseeing role they have played over the last 2 or 3 decades.

With that being said, Planning and Historic should take up the slack with the overlays and zoning, but MDHA should have never had the power to oversee those areas as it was an over reach of their power and what they were designed to do. It should have always been Planning and Historic. Nashville has always done things ass backwards and for that matter still does. Nashville missed the ball on Historic preservation by 60 years as that should have started in the 70's but I do realize that hind site is 20/20. 

I will be a critic of Planning as well and the plans Rick Bernhardt had for Nashville when he was the director of Planning. If his vision had stayed in place all of the buildings would have been stair stepped from the river into town. That works well in SimCity but not in a market driven economy. He was also the main reason for what has become known as the problem of the tall and skinnies. Should never have happened. I do remember reading this and it was under his leadership that this was allowed.

If Nashville had only looked to cities like Denver a lot of problems would have been avoided.

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MDHA won’t approve anything unless Planning and Public Works says it’s ok. I do agree that the whole process is antiquated but it does provide East Nashville with some design accountability and an opportunity for Public discourse...which is what has made East Nashville a special neighborhood among other things. I’m rooting for Brett to get it done, I just don’t think there’s enough time to do it...at least in East Nashville.

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From NBJ: Charleston, South Carolina-based Middle Street Partners LLC is under contract to buy about 13 acres at 2820 Dickerson Pike, where the Cauble Group had been proposing 326 townhomes and retail. Earlier in the year, Embrey Partners Ltd. had a contract to buy the same land, but has since dropped that deal. No word on what Middle Street's plans are for the site. 

This screen shot from Smeagolfree's excellent development map shows the site highlighted in teal at the center of the frame.

Screen Shot 2020-10-23 at 12.43.25 PM.png

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Edison of Riverwood (2, 3 & 4 stories, 352 units) update: Most of the dozen or so structures are topped out.

Looking west from Dodson Chapel Rd., just north of I-40:

Edison of Riverwood, Oct 15, 2020, 1..jpeg

Looking north from Dodson Chapel Rd., just north of I-40:

Edison of Riverwood, Oct 15, 2020, 1.jpeg

Looking west from Dodson Chapel Rd. 1/2 block south of Riverwood Village Blvd:

Edison of Riverwood, Oct 15, 2020, 3.jpeg

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  • dmillsphoto changed the title to Davidson East: Inglewood, Madison, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory
  • markhollin changed the title to Davidson East: East Nashville, Inglewood, Madison, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory

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