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New Zoning plan for MidTown


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This is a big change, that will increase office/residential/retail density along West End greatly.

From the 'Tennessean' ...

The Metro Council could give final approval Tuesday to one of Nashville’s most ambitious plans to transform how a key part of the city grows and develops in the years ahead.

The plan would rezone 455 acres in midtown, allowing development higher and closer to streets as a way to boost density and make the area more pedestrian- and mass-transit friendly. The move is designed to create a more urban-like setting.

The midtown zoning changes cover an area bounded by Interstate 40 in the east; Broadway, West End Avenue and 21st Avenue to the south; Interstate 440 in the west; and Charlotte Avenue on the north.

Under the new zoning, a developer could put a building right up to the sidewalk or property line, rather than adhere to a specific setback. In addition, the new zoning would allow a building’s maximum height to be located closer to the street.

The current zoning is geared more toward a suburban model, particularly with parking in front of businesses. The existing rules also push a building’s height farther from the street, resulting in buildings that are tiered or have a “wedding cake” design, according to Metro planners.

The city had seen an increase in developers seeking exceptions to existing zoning in midtown in order to build closer to the street. A comprehensive zoning change would remove the burden from individual property owners seeking the special exceptions, supporters say.

The zoning plan does not include 93 historic properties where the community raised concerns that the change could increase the pressure to redevelop them.

Withers said those properties include those already on the National Register of Historic Places and those considered eligible for the designation. Properties in areas considered eligible for a historic district status also were excluded, she said.

Those are generally near Hayes Street and 17th Avenue, Hayes and 19th Avenue and Elliston Place from 22nd Avenue to Louise Avenue.

This map, also from the Tennessean, provides more detail.


I have learned in my travels around the country, that Nashville's MidTown is a unique place that most of our peer Cities lack. It is not only a vibrant alternative to downtown, it is what a downtown ought to be with a strong mix of work, entertainment and living options. It is home to a great University, one of America's most notable parks, the world famous "Music Row' incubator of US and world culture, two major hospitals and several corporate headquarters.

Nashville is growing and with it, downtown, SoBro, and the Gulch. But MidTown will continue to boom and become Nashville's own version of Boston's Back Bay.

And there's this great picture of MidTown from LSYD on the Skyscaper Page website...


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Agree with everything you said, however, I really belive the hippodrome / beaman toyota car dealerships are a real impediment to the area. They are in my mind the PSC Metals of West End- incredible location but an eyesore. I would love to see mid-rise residential / retail on these sites, but unfortunately I don't think that will ever happen.

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I have learned in my travels around the country, that Nashville's MidTown is a unique place that most of our peer Cities lack.

This is one of my favorite things about Nashville, this long stretch of intense development spreading one way from downtown. It's unusual. I hope this change triggers some further development.

It's too bad about the car dealerships, but they will probably be the last to go, after all the parking lots are built on and the canyon of I-40 is capped with a park, that land will finally be way too valuable to sell cars on. At least some of their showrooms are built up to the sidewalk.

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Okay... I don't think anybody in their right mind is going to repeat what Palmer did with the old Masonic Lodge, but why would they want to delay this proposal? Is this going to be the next evolution of the NIMBY? I recognize this is tied to the BRT funding, but still. I can see that starting up.


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Very cool. I think this would be a great step for Nashville. Hopefully the Metro Council will approve the measure and then with some of the red tape out of the way developers/owners will start building good projects.

@Nashyvlle are you sure it passed? I thought it passed a committee last night (Monday Sept. 17) and was scheduled to go before the full Metro Council tonight (Tues, Sept 18).

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Wow, if this is half as revolutionary and impressive as it looks, it'll be a huge step forward for the city.

As an aside, does anyone know a good place to see a current zoning map for comparison?

EDIT: I found the Metro GIS info, but it's jumbled at best. I'd love to see something in an infographic format like the above, assuming something like that has ever been produced before.

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I'm glad to see that our local representatives aren't completely backwards. :thumbsup:

I don't think that this is going to lead to an immediate and radical change to West End, but it should provide an easier path for urban developers to operate. The area is sort of semi-urban right now, with a lot of surface parking and large setbacks. I think rezoning like this will help transition it into a more urban extension of downtown.

This also ties in to the recent threads about development on Charlotte. It could have a pretty significant impact there.

I'm with y'all on the car dealerships...but I do think they eventually all have a price. If all of the land around them becomes occupied by higher density development, it will raise the value of the land they are on significantly. At some point in time, it might make financial sense for them to sell high and move a little ways away or at least consolidate their property. Maybe they can move to the other side of downtown and set up shop on Main St. in East Nashville.

Just kidding, East Nashvillians. ;)

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