Metro planners approve change to subdivision regulations - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Metro planners approve change to subdivision regulations

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

More than a million people are expected to move to the area in the next 20 years, with about a quarter of them to Nashville alone.

The Metro Planning Commission has been weighing a proposal to deal with the growth, but the proposal would impact some of Nashville's most historic neighborhoods.

Vailwood Heights doesn't have flashy amenities like a pool or tennis courts, but, as one of the oldest subdivisions in Green Hills, it has charm. And that's one of the things that attracted Liz Wiseman 23 years ago.

"There are bigger yards here. There's room to spread out," she said. "The trees were a big one for me. I'm an outdoors person, and I love the trees."

And while she's not against change, Wiseman said she's worried changes to Nashville's subdivision infill ordinance could take away the character of the community.

"All the older neighborhoods are being cut up little by little, chipped away. And the trees are coming down, and one house is being replaced by two or three or four more houses," she said.

Planning commissioners voted 9-0 on the proposal Thursday to change the way future development in subdivisions like Vailwood Heights could happen.

"You'd look at street frontage, you'd look at how that lot and proposed change would fit into the immediate community, and then you look at Land Use Policy," said Craig Owensby, with the Metro Planning Department.

Essentially, a developer could tear down an existing home on a lot and replace it with two or three more, similar to what we're already seeing in Woodmont, Granny White and Green Hills.

But Owensby stresses planners would only approve a project if it's compatible with existing homes.

"Something that just didn't fit into the community wouldn't get approved. If you went into an established neighborhood and wanted to put up a cinder block box, that wouldn't pass," Owensby said.

Wiseman hopes that rings true.

"Once we lose these big trees, and once we lose these single-family homes on a lot, you're not going to get that back," she said.

Owensby also points out this doesn't apply everywhere in the county, only in existing subdivisions without a policy.

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