City Council Discusses Gulch Bridge, One Touch Motion, Adult Entertainment Locations

Posted at 9:49 PM, Oct 04, 2016

Members of the Metro City Council took up three controversial issues during their council meeting including the One Touch Make Ready ordinance, possible locations of strip clubs and the $18 million Gulch pedestrian bridge.

Council members passed the bill for the pedestrian bridge in its second reading a few minutes before 10 p.m.

The bridge would go over the tracks in the Gulch, connecting Pine Street to an easement that sits next to Cummins Station.

Many council members got an up-close look at the plans Monday. They had the chance to ask questions about funding, design and accessibility.

Some argued there would simply not enough going on across the tracks to warrant this kind of investment. And that successful Gulch businesses should be contributing to the project's bottom line. Others said the bridge would help it become a more walkable, desirable area. They emphasized the need to take care of the heart of the city.

A new ordinance that would block adult entertainment like strip clubs from Midtown was deferred.

Some council members said restricting strip clubs from Midtown makes sense because that particular part of town is booming with new apartments and condos.

The bill sponsors said high-density residential developments don't mix with adult entertainment.

But the Deja Vu strip club says the bill is targeting it and would restrict the club's first amendment rights. Deja Vu recently sold its longtime Demonbreun Street location with plans to move to Church street near Hustler Hollywood in Midtown.

While some council members said the ordinance would block Deja Vu from moving to Midtown, Deja Vu said state law would require it be grandfathered in since it bought the building in Midtown before the ordinance was introduced.

Council members also discussed a change to the One Touch Make Ready ordinance, which failed on its second reading. 

It would have forced attachers like Google Fiber and L3 Communications to pay the city's legal fees from any lawsuits that spawned from One Touch Make Ready.  AT&T is currently suing Metro Nashville over the ordinance.

The bill was passed on Sept. 20 which allowed one contractor to make a pole ready for fiber by moving all the lines on a utility pole, including the lines usually maintained by the pole's owner.