Friday, June 12, 2009

Contact Your Representative

As you now probably know, the Metro Planning Commission is tentatively set to hear the May Town Center zoning change on Thursday, June 25 .

Last summer, neighborhood groups joined forces with citizens from across Nashville in voicing opposition to this sprawling development, which would destroy the largest undeveloped swath of Davidson County and effectively create a competing downtown. Thanks to your efforts, the Planning Commission unanimously deferred voting on May Town Center at that time.

With the resurrection of this development, we’re once again asking for your help to defeat it. In addition to attending the June 25  meeting, it is imperative that you contact our representatives BEFORE THEN.


1. Send a quick note to the planning commissioners, letting them know that you oppose this development. Commissioners can be e-mailed at Mailing addresses and phone numbers are also listed here: Your letter can be 1-2 paragraphs and should be no more than 1 page.

2. Send a letter to Councilman Lonnell Matthews at or 2733 Cato Ridge Drive , Nashville , Tennessee 37218 .  If you also wish to call him, his contact number is 876-2319. 

There are myriad reasons to oppose this development – fiscally, environmentally, strategically, and otherwise. We’ve selected some of the most pertinent ones and pasted them below. Pick two or three that resonate with you and use them as the foundation of your e-mail to the commissioners.

Why May Town Center Is Bad for Nashville

1. May Town Center robs Nashville ’s downtown. Nearly 20% of office space is vacant in downtown right now.   Why do we need to add another 8 million square feet of office space in Bells Bend? This will only cripple 20 years of successful investment in downtown revitalization.

2. Taxpayers take a beating under this plan. May Town Center will siphon resources from already-strained public services like schools, public safety, and neglected and aging infrastructure.

3. Quality of life is at the forefront of this issue. Do we want to end up with the chaotic sprawl that surrounds Atlanta ? Do we need, or want, Cool Springs North?

4. This is about a landowner and a developer making money, not about attracting new businesses to Davidson County . Companies don’t decide whether to relocate to Nashville based on the availability of a 50-acre corporate campus. They assess tax incentives, public education, quality of infrastructure, proximity to transportation, and cultural activities, among many other criteria. May Town Center addresses none of these issues.

5. This is the largest intact rural area remaining in Nashville .  A forward-thinking city has the vision to protect this kind of open space rather than pave over it.

6. The developer’s claims that the remainder of Bells Bend will be protected are, at best, completely misguided and, at worst, disingenuous and deceitful.  Nashville lacks the mechanisms and organizational structure to enforce protection of the remainder of Bells Bend.

7. The report from the Mayor’s Green Ribbon Committee spells out clearly the need to protect open space in Nashville and decrease Nashville ’s carbon footprint.  Building May Town Center goes against each of these ideals; protecting Bells Bend carries out the committee’s recommendations.

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