NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With two minutes to speak, more than 60 people voiced their concerns to a group of appointed planning commissioners Monday.
“Please retain the character of this historic district,” pleaded one woman.
They were talking about Nashville Next, the county’s 25-year plan. Most comments were focused on one detail specific to their neighborhood, like the dozens of people fighting on both sides about the suburban zoning change to the rural White's Creek area.
“We ask you to amend this proposal to retain the neighborhood character policy,” one woman said.
“We want to live in the country, not the suburbs,” agreed one of her male neighbors.
But on the overall county-wide plan that took three years to get to a vote, feedback was mostly positive.
“I just want to applaud the process,” said one Nashville resident.
The Planning Department says it took 18,500 people's opinions into account through telephone surveys, community meetings and even one-on-one interviews.
“You would have a hard time finding a city that had more public involvement in their general plan process than we did in Nashville next,” said Planning Dept. spokesperson Craig Owensby.
The plan covers expanding bus routes and stops to connect the growing parts of Middle Tennessee.
It also sets policies about home development, updating zoning, roads and bike paths.
And with the regional population growth, which the Planning Department estimates will expand by a million people by the year 2040, Nashville Next creates procedures for preservation.
“This housing development explosion has begun,” noted one speaker.
Staff say it’s important to keep the city's character while allowing for growth.
“I would like to see this roll over to the next council I don't see what that matters one way or the other,” said one man advocating to postpone the vote.
While others are ready to see what's next for Nashville.
The meeting continues next Monday where commissioners will discuss the comments, the plan and decide whether to vote it through. If approved there are no specific plans for how to pay for any of the future ideas outlined by the plan.
Click here to view the updated community plans, including the plan for your neighborhood.
Click here to view the comprehensive plan, by volume. http://www.nashville.gov/Government/NashvilleNext/The-draft-NashvilleNext-plan.aspx