Nashville Growth Calls For More City Employees

Posted at 5:44 PM, Sep 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 13:20:40-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For downtown dwellers, the sights and sounds of Nashville may be a bit more than the musical tunes coming from Broadway.

In nearly every part of town, sidewalks have been blocked with barricades indicating a construction zone, and they have not been small projects.

"We're in a position a lot of cities would love to be in," Craig Owensby with Metro Nashville Planning Department said.

As building after building and tower after tower has been constructed, the process, beginning with a simple building permit, has taken a small team of people but can be a bit daunting.

"It can be if you're not prepared for it, if you're not thinking forward, ahead of what you may need," Bill Penn with Metro Codes Department said.

Metro Codes has been working to make sure each new structure has been properly built and that has meant a handful of new employees.

"We're bringing in some building inspectors, we're bringing in additional folks for plans review, and we're also looking at bringing in another zone examiner," said Penn.

The codes department hasn’t been the only government office anticipating years of growth. The planning department spent three years drawing out a 25 year, long term plan for the city called Nashville Next.

"One of the basic principles there is concentrating a lot of the new development in what we call centers, places where you have residential and business and transit," Owensby said.

Since 2010, the population growth in Davidson County has increased by 10,000 people every year.
By 2040 officials have projected the middle Tennessee region will see a million new residents, 200,000 in Davidson County alone.

"We anticipate being able to meet that demand because it’s not going to happen overnight, fortunately, but we do understand that we're going to have to do some things proactively in order to be ready for that, because that's a lot of people," Penn said.