Sunday, June 14, 2015

NashvilleNext Pubic Hearing June 15th 3PM

The Metro Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the NashvilleNext countywide long-term plan on Monday, June 15, at 3 pm, in the Sonny West Conference Center in the Howard Office Building, 700 Second Ave South
Public comments will begin around 4 pm and continue through the evening; community members may sign in to speak beginning at 2:30 and as long as the hearing is open.
Can't be there Monday evening? Metro 3 will be live-streaming the meeting, and you still have time to submit comments (until noon on June 15) by email, phone at (615) 862-NEXT (6398), or online on the Concept Map (desktop only).
If you would like to request to speak during the meeting, please fill out this form and bring it with you ahead of time. (Forms will also be provided at the meeting, but bringing a completed form will reduce waiting times.) Each speaker will have two minutes to present his/her comment. All requested amendments will then become proposed amendments that the Planning Commission will consider for its June 22 meeting.
Check out the walkthrough video below for more information, and we hope to see you on June 15! And remember: You can keep up with NashvilleNext at, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

My Comment (similar to my emailed  comment to the Planning Commission) : I have not read the 1,000 + page report and a casual reading would not inform anyway.  This is the kind of thing that needs to be studied.  If one does not have a background in land use issues, there would be a steep learning curve to understand what one was reading.  I think the way this thing is being rammed through is a disgrace. 

Sure, it was three years in the making and 50,000 people participated (or what ever number) in developing it, but that does not give it legitimacy. I went to several of the public meetings. I listened to some good speakers. I put little sticky dots on preferred options, which in a way was insultingly simplistic choices. The questions were often of the kind like, "Do you prefer bad, or do you prefer good." I sat at tables in small groups and brainstormed and I listed on the website things I like about Nashville and things I wanted changed.  Still, I think that this public process was all "dog and pony" show.  I felt I was no more than a prop. The public participation was for show. 

I suspect the plan is boilerplate and the name of the city is simply changed. I don't know what is in the plan.  Maybe it is a great plan, but I think it is so massive that no one will actually know what it does until it is passed and then applied. Someone told me it plans for greater density and what is generally thought of as "new urbanism" or "smart growth."  Actually, I think we must have greater density in order to have good mass transit and I support a relaxation of the type zoning that strictly separates land uses.  If that is what is in the plan, I will probably actually like it, but I think people should know what they are getting, and not just in general, but how the plan would change their neighborhood and their street.

The General Plan is very important. Here is why and how zoning works.  If some one wants to do something with their property that under current zoning they do not have a right to do they propose a rezoning. The planning department evaluates the proposal for conformity with the General Plan. If it is in conformity with the General Plan, they recommend approval to the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission recommends approval to the Council and the Council, after a public hearing, can pass it with a simple majority. 

If the proposal is not in conformity to the General Plan, the Planning Commission recommends disapproval and then it takes 27 votes of the Council to pass it, but a council member does not have to move forward with a disapproved bill. The council cannot refuse to introduce a bill in conformity with the General Plan.  The council does not vote on the General Plan, once approved by the Planning Commission, that is it.

The current General Plan has sub area plans that were developed by committees of citizens guided by the staff of the planning commission.  The NashvilleNext plan has changed "sub area" plans to "community" plans, but no one from the communities had input in developing the community plan.  Please put off the adoption of the plan and adopt it in phases, chapter at a time or whatever and then community subarea at a time, only after their has been a process of citizen input in each community. We are buying a pig in a poke with this plan and being sold the idea that it is a plan developed to reflect the will of the people. I'm not buying it.

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