With flooding in mind, residents and developers argue in Bellevue over proposed development

Neighbors put up signs against proposed development
Posted at 5:52 PM, Feb 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-17 21:44:07-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Neighbors in Bellevue are fighting against a proposed development by the Harpeth River. They're worried about flooding, but the people behind the plan said they're taking steps to accommodate concerns.

Bellevue neighbors like Lorelei Bergin aren't happy about it.

“It’s because of the flooding, people think it’s because ‘Oh, they’re putting apartments in,' we’re not opposed to development in Bellevue. This is just not the right development at the right place," Bergin said.

Michael Riggs said he lived in Harpeth Crest neighborhood during the 2010 flood when they were trapped, and he's worried about the proposal.

"I think it’s dangerous," Riggs said

Developer Cypressbrook hired Alan Thompson as a landscape architect and land planner for the project. He said, where they'd build Ariza Bellevue on the horse farm is safe.

"We had proposed it that the finished floor of these apartments would be above the May ’10 high water mark," Thompson said.

If you check FEMA's map, the land is by the floodway.

FEMA map
FEMA map

As for flooded roads, Thompson said the developer is willing to spend millions to raise Coley Davis Road among other things.

“So we’re extending the greenway. We’re building a bridge. We’re dedicating 20 acres, and we’re going under CSX to connect to the existing greenway,” Thompson said. “That is all at the cost of around $8 million a little bit more.”

Neighbors said the area is still flood-prone, though.

"We have the actual footage and everything of horses and everything engulfed in water," Bergin said.

"We’ve provided pictures of all the flooding. We’ve provided lots of truth,” Riggs said, “I think that we’re not getting the information that we’re looking for, and unfortunately, our councilman has not been available to answer our questions."

“There’s been a lot of disinformation going around that’s really put the fear in people, and I understand where they’re coming from," Metro Council Member Dave Rosenberg said.

He believes it’s a good deal for the city.

"This particular site is right off the interstate, doesn’t drive traffic into any neighborhoods," Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said it would bring housing and stimulate the economy.

But still, neighbors disagree.

“It’s not realistic. It’s not a good design, and we think there’s a lot of greed that’s making this happen instead of logic,” Bergin said

At least 1,600 neighbors have signed a petition against the proposed development. They have a website.

Originally, there was supposed to be a planning commission meeting next week on the rezoning, but it has been moved to March. The final decision will be up to the Metro Council.

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