Brush Collection begins in Hillsboro West End on January 5.
Recycling your Christmas tree is easy. Last year, Nashvillians dropped off over 17,000 trees for recycling through Metro Nashville’s Christmas Tree Recycling Drop-off Program! Trees can be taken to Elmington Park or Sevier Park to be chipped and composted into mulch. Trees must be cleaned of all ornaments, lights, wire, string and other decor before bringing them to be tree-cycled. No artificial trees can be accepted. Please do not dump any other items at these drop-off locations.
Construction of Fahrenheit Yoga — Neighbors have probably noticed the demolition of the building at the corner of Kirkwood and 12th South. Fahrenheit Yoga, a hot yoga studio, is coming to 12th South. Fahrenheit was located in Brentwood for the last 6 years and outgrew the space they were in. They will be building a new 4300-4500 sq ft facility and plan to be open for operation in the fall of 2018. I will be setting up a community meeting later in the winter so neighbors can learn about the construction schedule.
The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will be performing Hamlet at Belmont’s Troutt Theater Jan 4 - 28. Details at nashvilleshakes.org.
The Music City Youth Orchestra will hold an open rehearsal on January 8 at Belmont United Methodist Church (2007 Acklen Ave) at 6:30 pm. The open rehearsal is a great opportunity for Middle School and High School students to visit an MCYO rehearsal. Students from across the Metro Nashville area who are interested in joining can apply for January MCYO Auditions for 2018 for all strings, piano, and harp.
Office Hours — I will be holding Office Hours on Saturday, January 13 from 9 to 11 am at Portland Brew 2605 12th Ave South. I’ll have the new Hub Nashville Customer Service website up for demonstration, and I’m eager to hear whatever folks are concerned about.
Teenage Driver Awareness Class — Registration is open for the Metropolitan Police Department’s FREE Teenage Driver Awareness Class for high school aged teens, scheduled for Saturday, January 20th, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This popular course will be held in the community room of the MNPD’s South Precinct, 5101 Harding Place. It is open to all high school aged teens, regardless of county of residency. The class, taught by Nashville police officers, will not offer behind the wheel training, but rather will focus on impaired driving, distracted driving and overall traffic safety. You can sign up here.
Belmont Institutional Overlay — After numerous community and neighborhood group meetings, Belmont University has published the final draft of its updated Institutional Overlay. The update includes the new academic and residential buildings that have gone up in the past seven years and shows expected future growth between 12th Avenue and 15th Avenue for more academic and residential buildings, as well as some mixed-use commercial directly on 12th South. This future growth is not expected to happen for a number of years, but it is helpful to everyone to understand what is included in the long-range plans. The updated Institutional Overlay will now be filed with the Planning Commission for public hearing on January 25. It will go before the Council in April. I am working on scheduling a community meeting this month.
“Let’s Move Nashville” transportation plan — Interested in learning more about Metro Nashville/Davidson County’s proposed transit solutions and the proposed May 1 referendum where Nashville voters get to decide their transit future? Join me to hear from Mayor Megan Barry about the “Let’s Move Nashville” transportation plan on Wednesday, January 10 from 8 - 9:30 a.m. at Nissan Stadium - West Club, 1 Titans Way. Parking will be available in Lot H, which is located on the river side of Nissan Stadium. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Urban Land Institute, Nashville Downtown Partnership and Nashville Civic Design Center. Registration & Networking run from 8 - 8:30 a.m., and the Program is from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. This is a free event, but registration is required. Additional details here.
Opportunity NOW is a coordinated initiative launched by Mayor Megan Barry to provide young people in Davidson County access to employment. In Nashville, we have seen fewer and fewer teenagers and young adults working during the summers and after-school. At the same time, Nashville employers across various industries are concerned about the lack of “soft” skills among their youngest employees—skills most readily learned through actual work experience. The initiative was created based on recommendations from the Mayor’s Youth Violence Summit to connect youth to opportunity and to hope. Opportunity NOW is designed to combat the growing gap in opportunity and will become the much needed system for delivering employment and employment-like opportunities for young people. Neighbors can help with the effort by offering employment opportunities, by financial contributions, and by steering young people and other potential employers to the Opportunity Now website.
Nashville Community Education — The start of a new year is always a great time to set goals, but many of us struggle with achieving those objectives once January ends. This year considering registering for a class with Nashville Community Education to stay motivated with a supportive leader and fellow community members! Whether you want to get healthier, be more productive, learn a new instrument or anything in between, NCE offers a variety of classes to fit your schedule and needs. Sign up here.
Zero Waste Master Plan — I have been appointed to the Solid Waste Task Force that is working with the Regional Solid Waste board to approve Nashville’s twenty-year zero waste master plan. CDM Smith has been hired by Metro Public Works to create an action plan for reducing the amount of waste going to a landfill to essentially nothing by 2040. By increasing recycling and composting, and by reducing waste that is generated in the first place everyone in Davidson County can minimize our impact on the environment and make sure there are abundant resources for the next generation. The report is due out in April, but the Mayor has already initiated food waste reduction programs in restaurants and grocery stores. District 18 has been a leader in waste reduction since HWEN started the first weekend recycling program at Harris Hillman in the 80’s. We have the opportunity now to continue that tradition by supporting the food waste reduction, composting, and recycling programs that are being put in place.
Walking District — The Hillsboro West End Walking District is nearing the end of its six-month pilot period. Based on national statistics showing that pedestrians are much safer in areas where cars are traveling at or below 20 mph, the speed limit on all the local streets in HWEN was lowered to 20. The speed limit on the larger collector streets was lowered from 30 to 25 mph. Metro Police have been deliberate in first warning drivers about the change and then ticketing to enforce the lower speeds. This has created a much safer environment for walkers and cyclists. As Metro Public Works gathers data to evaluate whether to continue this very popular program, it is important that they see that it has made a difference in how people drive. Please be mindful as you drive through the Walking District and observe the speed limits as posted. It will help others to do the same. If this pilot is deemed a success, it may be expanded to include other neighborhoods like Belmont Hillsboro and the many other areas of town that have been asking for this type of comprehensive traffic calming.
Short Term Rental — The Council held a lengthy public hearing on January 2 to gather input on four bills that are under consideration to reduce the impacts of short term rental properties (like Air BnB) in residential neighborhoods. BL2017-608, which has been deferred while other bills catch up with it, would phase out permits for properties where the owner does not actually live in the property (non-owner occupied). BL2017-937 would allow existing non-owner occupied permits to continue, but would lower the number of violations that trigger a permit revocation from 3 to 2, and would require a ¼ mile distance between non-owner occupied type permits. As is customary, these bills were passed on second reading so that a thorough council discussion can take place before the third and final reading on January 16.
Transit Referendum — The Council is also considering an ordinance that will put a Transit Referendum on the May 1 ballot. The referendum will allow voters to decide on creating dedicated sources of funding to be used specifically to improve the current bus system and to install light rail on four key corridors (Gallatin, Nolensville, Murfreesboro, and Charlotte, and on an existing rail system in North Nashville. The bus system improvements will include more frequent service, extended operating hours, more cross-town bus routes, elimination of the transfer fee, real-time bus locating phone apps, and on-board Wi-Fi. Some of these improvements are already coming on-line. More information is available at letsmovenashville.com or by coming to the Transit Talk mentioned above on January 10.
I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start, and that you are having success with all your New Year’s Resolutions. One of my main goals for the year is to continue to make important information available to everyone and to take every opportunity to hear about the concerns and suggestions of neighbors. Please let me know what is on your mind by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 615-383-6604, or coming to my Office Hours on January 13.
Metro Council 18th District