Saturday, January 23, 2016

What happened at the Council meeting of 1-19-16: new regs for vacation rentals and pedal tabs, Waverly-Belmont Conservation Overlay approved.

Above is the Council meeting video from this past Tuesday January 19th.  I normally try to post it the next day following the meeting but other things took priority this week so I am just now getting to it.  Normally the announcement section of the meeting and the actual meeting are two separate videos but this time they are combined in this one. The actual meeting starts at timestamp 22:12.

For a link to the Council agenda, staff analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link.

There are no surprises in this meeting and no drama. There is not much point in actually watching  the meeting.  Here are the highlights. 

  • The mayoral appointment of Bill Freedman to the Airport Authority is confirmed. 
  • The resolution asking the Fair Board to reinstate gun shows at the Fairgrounds is deferred until the second meeting in March.  
  • RESOLUTION NO. RS2016-86  which is another one of these PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) deals is deferred one meeting.
  • BILL NO. BL2015-81 is  a bill which was disapproved by the Planning Commission and rezones 9.2 acres off on Clarksville pike which would allow the construction of between 72 to 120 apartment units of what is considered "workforce housing" which is another term for affordable housing. I thought this would be an important bill because it would test the strength of "councilmanic courtesy" in the new council.  However, wisely I think, the sponsor moved to amend the bill from the proposed multifamily rezoning to a SP rezoing and refer it back to the Planning Committee of the Council. He did not refer it back to the planning commission, which I think he should have done. SP zoning approves a specific plan for the site so people know where exits and entrances will be and setbacks and other things. "Councilmanic courtesy" is the practice of voting the way a fellow council member wants you to vote on his rezoning bills regardless of the recommendation of the Planning Commission.  The reasoning for this is that their is an assumption that the district council member knows what his constituents want and what is best for his district.  Some members follows a councilmanic courtesy policy most or all of the time and others follow the recommendation of the planning commission most or all of the time. A bill disapproved by the Planning Commission takes 27 votes to pass the council. The fact that the sponsor has substituted the bill to a SP zoning instead of the original proposed rezoning will not change the recommendation of the Planing Commission since the Planing Commission is not being asked to reconsider the bill. This will still be an interesting bill to watch. 
  • BILL NO. BL2016-99 which would end term limits for member of the Human Relations Commission was deferred one meeting.  I am pleased it was deferred; it to be defeated!  The Human Relations Commission needs to be abolished; it does not need to be strengthened. It serves no purpose except to promote and enforce politically correct attitudes.
  • The bill giving the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission authority to regulate hours of pedal taverns and other pedicabs and pedal carriages passes.
  • The council gave unanimous approval for a new conservation overlay for the Waverly-Belmont neighborhood.
  • The bill amending the rules governing short-term vacation rentals is amended, discussed and approved. Among other things it does is prohibit the owner of the unit from advertising that the unit can sleep more people than for which the unit is approved.
Here is The Tennessean report on this meeting: Metro Council takes step toward restricting pedal tavern hours

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