Community comments on NashvilleNext plan

The NashvilleNext public hearing has been temporarily adjourned until 1 pm Monday in the Sonny West Conference Center on the ground floor of Metro’s Howard Office Building.

The NashvilleNext public hearing has been temporarily adjourned until 1 pm Monday in the Sonny West Conference Center on the ground floor of Metro’s Howard Office Building.

The Metropolitan Planning Commission, with Mayor Karl Dean in attendance, held a special called meeting on June 15 to hear public comment on the NashvilleNext long-range plan. NashvilleNext is a long-range plan for Nashville’s future, intended to guide growth, development, and preservation in our city over the next 25 years.

“In may of 2012 we had the opportunity to call for an update to concept 2010 the general plan for Nashville Davidson County,” said Mayor Dean. This general plan, dubbed NashvilleNext, looks ahead 25 years from today to engage the community about how Nashville should grow.”

According to Dean, the scope of the plan is unlike any another city has taken before.

“The NashvilleNext plan has to engage thousands of participants in the planning for the growth and prosperity for our great city,” said Dean. “The plan takes a look at how land use and relating planning impacts the community in ways including arts and culture, education, employment and housing.

“The plan is founded on the guiding principles of ensuring opportunity for all, expanding accessibility, creating economic prosperity, fostering strong neighborhoods, advancing education, and championing environment.”

NashvilleNext is a community-driven process with a steering committee of community and Metro partners to help ensuring that opportunity and inclusion remained central to planning. Special attention was given to groups previously under-represented in civic processes, e.g., minorities, youth, and senior citizens.

Throughout the process, nearly 20,000 community members have shared their thoughts and suggestions online and in person at over 400 meetings, briefings, events, and public conversations.

Councilwoman Karen Johnson agrees with the mayor that the Nashville Next plan is a step in the right direction, but expressed some reservations.

“We want our city to grow, but we want it to grow responsibly,” Johnson said. She wants to ensure that green space and the character of the community that she represents is preserved.

Also, many expressed concerns that some communities were left out and the plan doesn’t adequately address the needs for affordable housing—leaving several attendees feeling that the vote for adopting NashvilleNext should be delayed until after August elections.

“If it is good now, it will be good six months from now,” said Councilwoman Blaylock.

The public hearing was temporarily adjourned and will continue in the Sonny West Conference Center on the ground floor of Metro’s Howard Office Building, 700 Second Ave. S at 1 pm on Monday, June 22.