Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Council meeting of May 6th with commentary and time stamp notation

This is a pretty boring council meeting, so there is no need to watch it. If you want to watch it and to  follow along with the Council Agenda, Council staff analysis and see my commentary find it at this link.

All eleven appointees to Boards and Commission are approved unanimously including the appointee to the Human Relations Commission, the useless agency that promotes normalization of youth homosexual conduct. Maybe someday we will have some conservatives in the Council not afraid to take a stand.

There were several bill on public hearing that had people speak, but they were bills that would interest no one except people living near the proposed rezonings. This is one of some interest:

ORDINANCE NO. BL2014-74: this bill would allow the Board of Zoning Appeals considerable leeway in approving exemptions from the Floor Area Ratio limitations for properties within the Urban Zoning Overlay. Already they can approve height and set back exemptions. Now to exceed the floor area ratio, they have to seek a zoning change. I think this is a reasonable bill and I tend to support it but don't feel that strongly either way.  Former Councilman and neighborhood activist John Summer speaks against the bill and the sponsor defers the bill indefinitely (see time stamp 30:35)

All of the bills on the consent agenda stayed on the consent agenda and the one bill not on the consent agenda was deferred “by rule.” Rules were suspended to approve a late resolution to accept a grant to benefit the election commission.

All bills on First reading passed as is customary.

Bills on Second reading pass, one of which moved forward the prospect of Nashville getting Google high speed service and maybe universal Wi-Fi, but I am not sure about that.

Bills on third reading pass, except for this one:
BILL NO. BL2014-715 would amend the code to remove the requirement that the cost of advertising and posting of signs for a proposed rezoning of property be borne by the person requesting the rezoning when the person requesting the rezoning is the metro council member. There would be limits on this exemption. A situation where this would apply is when a neighborhood wants to change their zoning, for instance, from residential that allows duplex to single family residential. In a case like this the cost of advertising and posting could be thousands of dollars. Some neighborhoods have paid those fees. Lesser affluent neighborhoods cannot afford that. In my view, this is a good bill. There is a difference between a neighborhood seeking a zoning change or overlay and a developer seeking it in order to earn a profit by the rezoning. The cost difference is a huge difference. To advertise and post signs for a single lot can be done for dollars; for a neighborhood it can be thousands of dollars. The Director of Finance has not approved the bill for availability of funds. This bill would have required 27 votes to pass.

The bill is substituted to make filing fees per council member for down zones and overlays unlimited but limit the exemption for cost from advertising and posting of notices to one per council member per year. The bills is deferred 22 to 12 to the second meeting in June over the objection of the sponsor, to see if the cost of this proposed change can be provided for in the budget. The argument for deferral is that this change must be paid for. I support the intent of the bill but understand the need for deferral. To see the discussion see time stamp 53:00-1:05:33.

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