Neighborhood divided over historic overlay

Neighborhood divided over historic overlay (Image 1)

Should Sylvan Park have rules dictating what homeowners can do with their property?

It is an issue that has created an uproar in one of Nashville’s best known neighborhoods.

Council Member Jason Holleman introduced a conservation overlay on June 3 that would put limits on development in the area.

He says he was asked to do so by a group of residents. Holleman says the overlay would preserve the neighborhood’s historic character.

“I think when you’re in a historic neighborhood it has a unique character. A lot of people moved there because they want that and obviously you can’t recreate it once it’s demolished,” Holleman told News 2.

In opposition, several residents have placed pink flamingos in their yards.

“People don’t like change but they also have to recognize that change is part of life and it’s part of life keeping the neighborhood vibrant and alive,” said opponent Mark Lambert.

Many neighbors told News 2 they were blindsided by the proposal and received no notice about it.

Council member Holleman, however, said he mailed letters and held two community meetings to discuss the idea.Lambert says he and others were never made aware of them and only learned about the proposal after a neighbor posted about it on social media.

It is not the first time residents in Sylvan Park have had to fight a historic overlay. A similar proposal several years ago was shut down.

“We’ve seen vibrancy and growth in the time since we defeated the last one,” said Lambert.

Since then there has been an economic resurgence because of new construction and renovation in the Sylvan Park neighborhood.

Opponents argue the overlay would put a stop to all of that.

A large crowd of opponents showed up to express their concerns during Metro Planning Commission’s public hearing Thursday night. The commission voted 4 to 2 to disapprove the plan.

The issue is scheduled to go before the Metro Council Tuesday night. There will be a public hearing.

A third reading could take place a couple of weeks later.

If the overlay passes, 700 homes would be impacted but Holleman said Sylvan Park would be the least restrictive historic district in the county.

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