November Update

November 1, 2016

The HWEN Annual meeting is Thursday, November 10 at 7 at BUMC. Come learn about the plan to designate HWEN a Walking District.

The Memorial Service for Betty Nixon will be held on Saturday, November 12 at West End Methodist Church at 11 AM. Betty was the council member when HWEN was first formed to fight condemnation of homes in the neighborhood in the name of urban renewal and the original plan for I-440 to be built above ground. She was a fierce advocate for neighborhoods and went on to serve in the Vanderbilt office of government and neighborhood relations. Betty greatly improved communications between the neighborhood and university. As a result of her efforts we are now much better at dealing with issues collaboratively. Betty set the standard for community activism and came very close to being Nashville’s first woman mayor.

Supermoon Coming Soon — Stepping out of the district for just one paragraph, on November 14, the Supermoon will be at its closest location to earth for the next 18 years. It will not be the brightest full moon of the year, but it will be the biggest.

November 15th is America Recycles Day, and to celebrate it, Metro Beautification has been working on a project with Waste Management, Inc., the city’s recycling contractor, to reduce contamination in our recyclables. Plastic bags are the number one contaminant, frequently jamming recycling processing equipment and reducing the value of recycled materials. Our 2016 America Recycles Day event will focus on educating residents that plastic bags cannot go in recycling carts and need to be returned to grocery stores where they have specific collection containers just for plastic bags. This program will also encourage resident to take a reusable bag to the store instead of using plastic bags. Metro Beautification will be partnering with all 22 Kroger grocery stores in Davidson County to hand out a reusable bag to the first 250 customers at each store (a total of 5,500 bags will be distributed). The reusable bag will have a message on it telling people to return plastic bags to the store for recycling and only place paper, plastic containers and metal cans in their recycling carts. 

Belmont University will hold a community meeting to discuss the construction of a dormitory on Bernard Circle. The meeting will be Monday, November 21 at 6 or 6:30. Details on time and location will be sent out on the neighborhood listserve.

Friends of Elmington Park is holding a membership meeting on November 29 at 6 at WEMS in the library. We will discuss long range plans including tree planting, creating a walking path around the park, adding a permanent toilet, and strengthening the relationship with the school. This group is looking for new energy so please come even if you haven’t been involved in the past.

Adopt a Storm Drain — Metro Water Services wants to make sure that leaves and trash don’t clog up storm drains and leave neighbors flooded. This fall they are asking residents to Adopt a Storm Drain. MWS has set up a friendly competition between District 17 (12th S, Wedgewood Houston, Berry Hill) and District 18 to see which district can adopt the most storm drains. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my street to flood, and I can’t resist a challenge. So I’m asking everyone to walk out the front door of your house and pick a storm drain to adopt. You can sign up here starting November 10. Your job will be to make sure that sticks and leaves are not clogging the drain so that the rain can get off the street. You can also remind your neighbors to either mulch leaves or set them on the curb in biodegradeable bags available at hardware stores. Don’t let anyone just blow them into the street! The street sweepers will be in HWEN on November 8 and BHN and 12th S on November 17. Moving cars off the street will make it easier for them to get whatever does land in the street. If everyone adopts a drain, it will help our streets and our water treatment plant. You can watch the talley between District 17 and 18 on my website burkley.org.

Contractor Crews will continue the installation of storm sewer lines parallel to 21st Avenue on the West side during the work hours of 7pm to 6am. Residents and motorists should expect lane closures in 21st Avenue South every night Sunday through Thursday from 7pm to 6am.

The Alliance for Green Hills is conducting a survey of area residents and people who regularly drive through the neighborhood pate in a survey that will be used to shape transportation and traffic plans that improve traffic flow and create a more walkable, bikeable and livable environment. The Green Hills Transportation and Traffic Survey is available here, and on the Alliance for Green Hills’ Facebook page. The results will be used for comprehensive planning that involves local, state and federal transportation agencies. The survey will provide valuable information for the first Green Hills Transportation and Traffic Summit, which is being scheduled for January 2017.

Update on Nashville’s Short Term Rental Property (STRP) regulations — In response to growing frustration over problem properties not being addressed promptly, I have worked with several council members to hold two community meetings for input and to contact the mayor for her support in addressing the enforcement issue. The result has been a series of amendments to the existing regulations and a study to provide the Codes department with needed personnel to improve enforcement. We have passed bills that allow the use of a stop work order for properties that are operating without a permit; require a 3 year waiting period before those properties can apply for a new permit; require display of the permit number on the website; and that require signing an affidavit of compliance with the rules before renewing a permit; The last of the proposed amendments is working its way slowly through council. Among other things, this bill would require two IDs to apply for an owner occupied permit and allow permit applications to expire after 90 days if they have not been completed. You can read the bill and proposed amendments here and here. Nashville was fairly early in creating legislation on STRP’s, and we are still making adjustments as we discover how it plays out. In the meantime, the Beacon Center has sued Metro over our goal of protecting the interests of the residents of our neighborhoods. Judge Kelvin Jones heard the case and ruled in October that Nashville can limit the number of non-owner occupied STRP’s, but that the definition of STRP is, in his opinion, vague because it overlaps definitions of Historic Bed and Breakfast and Hotel. I am working with Metro Legal to revise the definition, and we believe that the current regulations can continue to prevail. The intention is to finish the revisions that arose from the community meetings and then focus on improving enforcement mechanisms.

Christmas in Hillsboro Village is happening the first weekend in December. Mark your calendar and look for more details in the December update.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve this great district. Contact me with your concerns and suggestions at burkley.allen@nashville.gov and please go adopt a storm drain! :)

Regards, 
Burkley Allen 
Metro Council 18th District

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