Friday, July 21, 2017

What happened at the Metro Council on July 18th:$26M spend from 4% fund, bills dissaproved by the Plannng Commision pass the Council.

To access the council agenda, the council staff analysis of the meeting and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link.  This is a uneventful meeting with no controversy or drama. There is not much reason to watch the meeting. I watched it for you. As expected, the Council deferred action on the bill that would ban some forms of home-sharing (See The Tennessean's "Council delays short-term rental bill.)

RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-785,  which appropriates $26 million to various department from the 4% fund, including a million dollars to General Hospital, is approved with very little discussion by a voice vote with no recorded or audible "no" votes.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-786  and RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-787 both of which appropriates money to subsidize the development of what is called "workforce housing" are withdrawn at the recommendation of the Budget and Finance committee. Why, I do not know. By the time it gets to a resolution appropriating money, a developer and project has been selected.  If one were to watch the Budget and Finance Committee meeting, which I have not done, one could probably learn why this is withdrawn. I wish the reason for the withdrawal would be explained from the floor. The curious may want to watch the B & F committee meeting to learn why.

BILL NO. BL2017-800 on second reading, which would make a modest change to the juvenile curfew law is deferred two meetings. This bill would make the curfew more restrictive than it is now. 

BILL NO. BL2017-801  and BILL NO. BL2017-802,  on Second Reading, both of which deal with obstruction or closure of public right of ways are deferred to the second meeting in September.

Bills on Third Reading

BILL NO. BL2017-701  by Karen Johnson is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission.  It would apply an Urban Design Overlay District on 11.25 acres on Moss Springs Rd and Bluewater Trace. An Urban Design Overlay is a tool to insure that future development or redevelopment is in character with what already exist in the neighborhood and addresses such things as height  of buildings and construction material and orientation of the front door and location of the garage. The Planning Commission says this would impose standards that are more stringent than what constitutes the current character of the neighborhood. It can take some effort to get a dissaproved bill passed. A bill disapproved by the Planning Commission requires 27 affirmative votes to pass. The bill won approval from the Planning Committee of the Council. The roll call vote was 32 in favor, 0 against, 1 abstentions and 6 not voting. I really do not care about the merits of the bill, but am surprised that no one voted against it.  In previous councils, there have always been some members who would simply not vote for disapproved bills. This passage speaks to the legislative skill of Councilman Johnson.  A cynic would say Councilmanic courtesy is alive and well.

BILL NO. BL2017-719 by Scott Davis  is a rezoning bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. This rezoning proposal is to SP zoning and would permit an accessory detached recording studio on the property. Councilman Davis makes the point that lots of people have recording studios in their home or teach piano or other music lessons in their home and are not properly zoned to do so.  He is attempting to properly zone a piece of property so his constituent can legally do what many in Nashville do illegally. He says this issue is something the Council needs to address.  This has been tackled by the Council before but an agreed upon bill was never passed.  I think if I served in the Council, I would be inclined to support this bill.  Disapproved, it would require 27 votes to pass.  The Planing Committee of the Council had voted 4 in favor, 7 against and one not voting. It is deferred one meeting.

BILL NO. BL2017-741 would require that private parking lots or garages post a sign listing the amount of any fines or penalties that may be charged by the parking facility and to post such information not only at entrances but also at each automatic pre-payment station for those with that type arrangement. Parking facilities must already post their parking fees at the entrance of the facility. This seem reasonable and it passes.

BILL NO. BL2017-782 by Councilman Roberts is another rezoning bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. It passes by a vote of 32 in favor, none opposed, one abstention and 6 not voting. 

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