Monday, March 10, 2008

What Now?

There's no denying that whatever occurs at the corner of 46th and Charlotte Avenues will either make or break plans to revitalize this district. The congregation is back to square one in their search for a new buyer - one that could possibly preserve the structure or build anew.

Fortunately if they choose the latter, the UZO that is already in place will appropriately guide potential developers to ensure their proposed project adheres to the existing urban fabric.

Nancy DeVille, reporter for the Tennessean, wrote a follow up story in today's issue. A lot of questions surround the property and what will now go in it's place. Developers are showing interest, but the challenge is finding an operator/franchisee/tenant who would lease the space in the event of an adaptive re-use.

If you have an idea for what you think would work on this corner, please leave a comment.

Friday, March 7, 2008

March 3rd Meeting Documents Available for Download

The powerpoint presentation as well as the draft of the detailed land use plan are now available for download from the Metro Planning web page. A comment sheet was also emailed to those who have signed in at past meetings. If you wish to submit your comments, they must be sent in to either Bob Eadler ( or Jennifer Carlat ( by Monday, March 10. You can also fax it to 615.862.7209, or mail to:

Bob Eadler, Metro Planning Department
800 2nd Ave South
Nashville, TN 37210.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Historic & SP Bills Removed

As expected, Councilman Holleman withdrew the historic zoning and specific plan zoning bills that would have been applied to the property at the former Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ at last night's Metro Council meeting.

At last week's public hearing held by the Planning Commission, Zoning Administrator Sonny West ruled that the property already has an Urban Zoning Overlay applied to it, which will require any new development to build to the street.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Front Page News

Today's edition
of the City Paper featured the latest news on the issues surrounding the Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ. The article states that the congregation and the community are now on the same page - seeking a buyer who will hopefully preserve the building.

Burgin Dossett, VP of development at Crosland has been assisting in the process and said the goal is to find another church or performance group who could make use of the building. "The key is to find an end-use for it," Dossett said. "We haven't cracked that code yet. Ideally, another place of assembly or a performance venue would be best, because it would allow the building to stay intact. The acoustics in the building are really very impressive."

News of the UZO that already covers this piece of property is also mentioned in the article. In light of this news, it was stated that Councilman Holleman (District 24) plans to withdraw both the historic and SP bill that are slated for second reading at tonight's council meeting.

"The downside right now is it remains to be seen whether this is a victory at this point," Holleman said. "I don't know what (developer) comes behind it. If it's a good deal, then I think it's probably a win. If it turns out to be another big developer, then we'll have to wait and see."

On a personal note, here is one option I'd like to see go in. A bit of a long shot, but you never know.

Bike/Ped & Transportation Highlight Latest DCDP Meeting

The third installment of the Charlotte Avenue Detailed Corridor Design Plan (DCDP) was held last night with a much smaller crowd in attendance than meetings past. The congregation representing the Charlotte Ave. Church of Christ did not make an appearance at this meeting. Maybe Rite Aid's departure has taken the wind out of their sails.

The MPC staff went over a revised Concept Plan based on the feedback they received from the meeting in February. The revised plan illustrated conceptual zoning along the various sections of the area. All properties fronting Charlotte have been designated as Mixed-Use, a majority of the properties along Alabama Avenue have been designated as Commercial, and pockets of Mixed Housing and Transition Buffers were worked in as well. (the revised plan will be available for download on the MPC webpage soon)

One intriguing part of the plan was the fact that the area along Richland Creek has been given a wider buffer to allow for an amenity along the creek (such as a park or wetland conservation area) rather than just having to develop something around the creek.

In addition to the concept plan presentation, two of the team members from the MPC got up and spoke specifically about bike and pedestrian impacts as well as transportation.

The bike/ped presentation was encouraging as it showed which sections of the plan were slated for sidewalk improvements/additions. It was also pointed out that bike lanes are proposed for 51st, Charlotte and 46th (continuing north) Avenues. Proposed greenways that impact the area were also highlighted, which showed the greenway continuing north of McCabe golf course along the creek towards the Cumberland River as well as an eastern spur that connects to Richland Park. The staff member was quick to point out that this plan is not set in stone - the proposed route north of the golf course has raised a lot of eyebrows since the greenway would go through the back of their property.

Transportation was also promising in that Charlotte Avenue holds great potential for adding bike lanes and on street parking, which would make it a more pedestrian friendly thoroughfare. It was also found that certain sections of Charlotte (esp. on the western end of the study area) are in dire need of access management. An example was made of the many curb cuts that encompass the area near Wendell Smith's and Dairy Dip. The graphic showed the many options a vehicle has for entering and exiting the businesses in that area, illustrating just how convoluted that system currently is. The second graphic showed how reducing the number of curb cuts would create a more streamlined and predictable traffic situation for both vehicles and pedestrians.

On street parking is another necessity that the community wishes to see implemented with this plan and an estimated 190 parking spaces are potentially available along the northern side of Charlotte Avenue. WOW! That doesn't even include the parking at Richland Park, or proposed on street parking on the side streets (47th-50th). One other idea proposed, was widening the sidewalk on the south side of Charlotte between 50th and 54th Avenues.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd. At this meeting the MPC will be talking about building regulations which will be a discussion about proposed building types on a block by block basis.

Remember if you missed the meeting last night, the MPC will have the documents posted from the meeting on their website in a few days. The meeting was also taped and can be seen on Cable Channel 10 at the following times:

Sundays at 4 p.m.
Tuesdays at 11 a.m.

Thursdays at 5 p.m.
Saturdays at 11 a.m.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We've Already Got One! (An Urban Zoning That Is...)

We may have won the war - but we did lose the battle...or did we?

Last Thursday, the Planning Commission overwhelmingly opposed the Specific Plan bill (SP-MU) that is currently in Metro Council and awaiting second reading this Tuesday. The public hearing was attended by both the community and of course the congregation, and both sides got to air grievances over the future of the property that is gaining more and more attention. I was not in attendance, but from what I've heard from friends who did make it, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to disapprove this bill. Some comments were made by those on the Commission that "they could not in good conscience vote any other way". No doubt they were swayed by the congregation's continuing diatribe that this is an attack on Faith/Christianity/God's will/God's plan. The fact that the congregation continues to demonize the community is appalling.

The Planning Commission's vote is a bit disheartening, but it seems that a lot of this work wasn't necessary after all. Metro Legal stepped in and informed the parties involved that the property in question (and the entire area that encompasses the DCDP) is already part of the Urban Zoning Overlay that was established in 2000. This zoning has similar requirements for new development that the community wishes to see occur at the corner (building set back, parking location, etc). Details of the zoning can be viewed here and here.

NOM made it official that Rite Aid is in fact backing out of the deal (due to market conditions, not necessarily the community backlash - but of course the congregation blames the community). So what does the future hold for the property? Will a developer step forward that has the clout to get something done on that corner that makes both the community and the congregation happy? At least now we know that requirements are already in place for whoever decides to preserve/develop the property. We will have to wait and see.

Third Meeting Tonight for Charlotte DCDP

The third meeting for the Charlotte Avenue Detailed Corridor Design Plan is being held tonight in the Parish Hall at St. Ann Catholic Church at 6:00 pm. The focus of tonight's meeting will be on Community Character Policies, which is policy guidance for future zone changes and subdivision requests.