May Update

May 1, 2017

The Sevier Park Fest is this Saturday, May 5th and 6th! The Fest was created to bring adjacent neighborhoods together to enjoy the neighborhood park. Neighbors from 12South, Belmont - Hillsboro, Sunnyside, and Battlefield are specifically invited, but all are wholeheartedly welcome. The event also raises funds to help make our park and community a better place to enjoy. Proceeds from past events have been used to purchase water fountains for Sevier Park and to remove invasive plants in the park’s creek. There is lots more to do! This year’s Friday night concert headliner is The Lone Bellow, with opening acts Muddy Magnolias and Family & Friends. Concert tickets are $30 and are available on the Sevier Park Fest website. Saturday is a free fun day for the whole family and includes over 100 art/craft vendors; three stages of live music; a kids’ area; and a Criterium Bike Race around the park beginning with a kids’ race at 10am. Supporters can also help by becoming a Festival Friend or by volunteering. Festival friends help support the Friends of Sevier Park and the annual festival with a $250 purchase that includes 2 VIP tickets to the Friday night concert, and name/logo inclusion on all Sevier Park Fest promotional materials. Volunteers are needed to staff the Friends of Sevier Park table at the Fest on Saturday, May 6. Please email organizers to sign up for a shift.

The HWEN Plant Swap is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at 407 Chesterfield Ave from 2 to 4:30pm. Neighbors can swap plants that need to be thinned with whatever plants others need to pass on. Bring extra plants and any plant containers, and take home something new and different for your garden.

This Saturday is also the 3rd annual Strawberry Jubilee 2017 – Join in the fun at the kick-off to peak growing season at the Nashville Farmers Market, located at Eighth Avenue N and Jefferson Street from 10am to 2pm. This is the Nashville-area’s premiere opportunity to taste the sweetest, locally-grown Tennessee strawberries of the season, and to take home every quantity from pints to full flats for freezing, canning, ice cream-making, and, of course, plenty of snacking. See more info here.

2nd Annual W. Ovid Collins, Jr. Concert Series at Belmont University — This Sunday, May 7 at 7pm, the Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra will be giving a free performance at McAfee Concert Hall, Belmont University, 2100 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37212. In addition to Camille Saint-Saëns’ organ symphony, this concert will feature NPO’s concerto and composition competition winners. The NPO is a non-profit, tax-exempt, all-volunteer community orchestra whose mission is to perform symphonic music free of charge for a wide variety of audiences. The NPO is supported in part by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Arts Commission. For more information about the NPO (and more details about the works and performers featured in this concert series), please visit the Nashville Philharmonic website.

Adopt-a-Storm Drain program — District 18 had a great response to the Adopt-a-Storm Drain program sponsored by Metro Water Services. A pilot program involving a friendly competition between District 18 and District 17 (12South area) started last December. According to my unofficial count, we almost tripled the adoptions from District 17. But there are still plenty of storm drains that need help from neighbors, that is, seeing that the drains are free of debris, thereby preventing clogging of the storm sewer and flooding. Learn more about the program here.

Storm Water Fee — The Metro Council recently passed an increase in the storm water fee to speed up the process of resolving existing storm water issues. Most Nashville property owners pay a $3 monthly storm water fee under the existing model. That will double to $6 per month under the new structure. Residential ratepayers with less than 2,000 square feet of impervious surface will continue paying $1.50 per month, and ratepayers with less than 400 square feet will continue having no storm water fee. With this additional revenue, the storm water division will be able to more quickly take care of needed improvements to deal with local flooding issues.

The Metro budget process is now in full swing. Council hearings for each department run from May 8 through the end of the month. This provides the opportunity for comment on and adjustment of the budget proposed by the mayor at the State of Metro address. The overall operating budget for the year is $2.2 billion. The main priorities are on education, transportation infrastructure, housing affordability, and public safety. Key points of the budget include more than $30 million for sidewalks and bikeways, and an increase of $36 million for schools, including an expansion of literacy programs.

Eakin IB Exhibition will take place May 16 at 6pm. Everyone is welcome to come and interact with the 4th grade students showcasing their inquiry-based capstone project. They will be researching everything from global warming, to homelessness, to the importance of spaying pets.

May is Bike Month – The Tour de Nash takes place on Saturday, May 20, starting in Morgan Park at 8:30am. Riders can choose from the 8-mile family ride, the 25-mile ride or the ride of 45 miles. The two longer rides pass through 12th S, Belmont, Portland, 18th, Magnolia, Fairfax, Marlborough, Chesterfield, Richardson, and Elmington Ave. There will be limited closings on those streets during the morning, but mostly just lots of bicycles. This is a great opportunity to discover some wonderful, but little known, parts of Nashville.

Bike to Work Day follows on May 26. Riders can choose from meeting spots at Elmington Park at 7:20am, Red Kite Bicycle Studio at 7:25am, Garland Ave and 25th Ave S at 7:30am, and the new Belmont Bookstore at Portland and Belmont at 7:35am.

Mid-Village Crosswalk Informational Meeting – Customers and business owners of Hillsboro Village have long debated if and how to install a mid-Village crosswalk across 21st Avenue to provide safe pedestrian crossing without exacerbating the traffic congestion challenges. Studies show that a four-lane road like 21st is best served by a signalized crosswalk for pedestrian safety. Metro Public Works will hold an informational meeting on Wednesday, May 17 at 6pm at Belmont United Methodist Church, to show several possible designs for different types of signalized crosswalks, followed by an opportunity to discuss the merits and appropriateness of the options.

The long-awaited property assessments have finally been mailed out. Most property owners in District 18 can expect to see a property value increase of around 37% over the 2012 assessment. Because the state requires that the reassessment cannot result in increased property tax income for the city, the property tax rate will be reduced from 4.52% to around 3.16%. This means that most property owners will see little to no increase in the property tax that they pay. Homeowners who feel that the reassessment is incorrect can begin the informal appeal process by visiting the assessor’s site and by signing up before the May 19 deadline. Further appeals can be taken up with the Board of Equalization for a limited time after that.

Hillsboro West End Neighbors Dragon Music Sundays will take place on May 21 and 28, and on June 4 and 11, at Fannie Mae Dees Park. This is a great opportunity to hear some of our best local artists. The kick-off begins with the Dragon Parade from the Triangle Park at the corner of Blair and Natchez Trace on May 21 at 2pm.

The 12th South water main replacement project is making steady progress. There will be a short section of storm water work crossing Beechwood done in May in order to pave the road. The contractor is planning to pave Linden, Beechwood and Sweetbrier at the end of May.

ISN Ramadan Class and Dinner Programs are open to all neighbors Tuesdays and Thursdays starting May 30. Neighbors are invited to join an Islam 101 presentation which will address common questions/misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Nashville, followed by a Ramadan Dinner with fellowship and an opportunity to build bridges. RSVP here.

Plans are in the works for another Bus Ride 101, this time to the Jefferson Street Jazz Festival in June on the University Connector. Look for more details in the June update.

Interesting Zoning Issues – A proposed bill to phase out non-owner occupied short-term rentals in residential areas came before the council on public hearing earlier this month and had dozens of residents speak on both sides of the issue. The bill was deferred to allow the sponsor to work on amendments incorporating comments from the hearing and will be up for final vote in June. Several development projects continue to move forward in the neighborhood. The Jenkins at the corner of Blair and Belmont is nearing completion. The new apartment complex at 17th and Belcourt has just broken ground. This will be followed by construction of the Moxy Hotel at 20th as well as the Belcourt and the Belcourt Village mixed-use project in the old Bosco’s building and behind. All these projects will create new parking challenges in the Village during the construction period. Once they are complete, two new parking garages should provide a long-term solution. In the meantime, we will work to come up with cooperative, creative parking solutions.

As we head toward summer, I look forward to bumping into neighbors outside at our great parks and hearing what is on your mind. If you would like to be more systematic than that, feel free to let me know what is important to you by calling me at 615-383-6604 or by e-mailing me at

Burkley Allen 
Metro Council 18th District

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