District 18 Office Hours — I will be holding District 18 Office Hours on Saturday, July 15, from 9 to 11 at Fido in Hillsboro Village. For those who haven’t run into me in the grocery store and would like an opportunity to discuss issues that are important to you, please stop by and have a cup of coffee with me.
Community Meeting with Paragon Group — The six single family home project at Orleans and Acklen is underway, and a community meeting with the builders, Paragon Group, has been scheduled to talk about the construction schedule, street accessibility during construction, and the lines of communication. The meeting will be held on July 20 at 5:30pm at the Martin Professional Development Center, 2400 Fairfax Ave.
Several neighbors have raised concerns about trash carts sitting with their lids open after trash pick-up day. This becomes a health hazard at this time of year if rain gets in the cart allowing mosquitos to breed. This problem can be solved by placing the cart correctly on the curb. If the cart is placed with the handle toward the curb, then gravity will make the lid close as it is placed back down on the ground. This also prevents waste from spilling out before the cart actually tips over the truck. The top of each cart is imprinted with instructions and an arrow showing which direction the cart needs to face to ensure the lid closes as it is being set back down.
The 12th South water main replacement project is complete on Sweetbriar and has moved over to Beechwood. The stormwater work in the alley near Beechwood will continue during the first week of July. No work was scheduled for Monday or Tuesday for the July 4 holiday, but the contractor may work this Saturday.
Ordinance No. BL2017-588, amending the graduated stormwater user fee schedule, goes into effect on July 1, 2017. Metro Water Service water and sewer customers receiving monthly bills will see the new stormwater rate on their August bill, and stormwater-only customers will see the new rate on their quarterly bill. Information regarding the new rate structure, as well as Stormwater Project Criteria and a map showing proposed FY 2018 projects, can be found here. Questions regarding the stormwater fee can be directed to Maxine Stevenson at 615-862-4679 or Paula Kee at 615-880-2317.
Metro Water Services’ Adopt-A-Storm Drain has now gone metro wide. After a successful pilot project pitting Council District 18 in a competition with Council District 17, the city is now expanding its voluntary storm drain clean-up program to the rest of the county. The goal is to reduce pollution in streets and streams and to prevent localized flooding. By adopting a storm drain, volunteers agree to monitor the drain’s condition and keep it clean and clear of unwanted items — such as grass clippings, fallen leaves, and litter — between rainfalls. If a storm drain is clogged, rainwater cannot properly move through the system and can end up flooding neighborhood streets. Keeping storm drains clear of unwanted debris also prevents it from entering the storm water system, where it could end up polluting our rivers, streams and other waterways. Neighbors who want to adopt a storm drain can choose one through the interactive map here.
2018 Operation Budget — After much thought and deliberation, the Metro Council has passed the city’s 2018 Operating Budget. Key items this year include increases for schools for additional literacy programs and school nurses, body cameras for police, as well as 70 new positions, $30 million for sidewalks, $35 million for affordable housing programs, and over $1 million for additional staffing for Metro Codes to improve the building permit and code enforcement processes.
Short Term Rental (STRP) regulations will be discussed by a new ad hoc committee appointed by the Vice-Mayor. Six members of the Metro Council will review the current regulations and the proposed bill that would phase out permits for non-owner occupied short term rental in residential areas. The committee will seek consensus on a plan that would ensure the cooperation of internet platforms in removing unpermitted properties from their sites and would not be likely to be overruled by state legislators. The committee has until October to make a recommendation to the Council.
Belmont University has proposed to amend the Institutional Overlay, which governs how it will expand in the future. The most significant changes proposed are to extend the Overlay from 15th Avenue to 12th Avenue between Wedgewood and Caldwell Avenues, creating additional academic and residential parts of the campus. A mixed-use area along 12th South would have retail accessible from 12th South on lower levels and campus uses on the upper levels accessible from Belmont Circle. The Wedgewood corner would serve as a gateway to the university and would eventually have a multistory building similar to those along Wedgewood between 15th and Magnolia. The plan will undergo another revision based on comments received at a community meeting at the end of June. A draft of the proposal is available on the Community Relations page of Belmont’s website. To comment on the draft, email Jason Rogers.
The property at Tabernacle Baptist on 12th South is once again being looked at for a mixed-use proposal. The current developer is holding a series of meetings with council members and neighborhood leaders on both sides of 12th Avenue to hear what types of uses and densities would be appropriate. No firm proposal has been made at this point, and the process is expected to be an iterative one as the developers work with stakeholders.
I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. Please let me know what is on your mind. Feel free to contact me with your concerns and suggestions by calling me at 615-383-6604 or by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Metro Council 18th District