After a welcome quiet spell, some alarming developments on 43rd Avenue

There are currently three residential property owners in the 43rd Avenue area (at Delaware/Georgia/Indiana Avenues):

  • One property owner has the only house on her single plot.
  • Another property owner has bought up every available residential plot and bulldozed all buildings from them, owns adjacent industrial land, and fought for months to try to sneak past a residential-to-industrial rezoning bill and an alley abandonment -- which the community successfully fought off.
  • The final property owner is an estate which owns two cleared residential plots.

That estate has announced they are going to auction off their two residential parcels on June 1st:

The auction listing uses language like "commercial - industrial potential":

ESTATE - Selling two vacant lots near Interstate 40 in Nashville with commercial and/or industrial potential. Each lot is 50'x150' and are located across from each other, one fronting Georgia Ave with the other fronting Delaware Ave. These lots are currently zoned "Residential" but are all vacant with commercial and light industrial / warehouse use across the streat. Selling for the Garrett Estate at Auction on Wed. June 1st at 12 noon.

The homeowning neighbor tells us that those parcels were available for sale, but at an extremely high price ($150K). Note that these parcels were advertised a year ago as "possible commercial":

There has been no definitive word on the starting bid price at the auction, but it is presumed to be high ($100K?), based on a presumption that the proponent of industial rezoning will insist on buying the parcels, and a high opening bid will maximize the estate's take.

If the industrial property owner succeeds in buying these two parcels he will be one step closer to industrializing this large swath of what has always been a residential neighborhood.

Neighborhood associations weigh in!

The Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund and Historic Sylvan Park, Inc. both came out officially in opposition to the 43rd Avenue road closure and abandonment! Thanks for the support!

The community voice gets even louder!

After 3 months of promising a meeting, 2 weeks of protesting that he "don't have to call a meeting" (way to win us over), Buddy Baker finally held "his" community meeting on a Saturday, 3 days before the final vote, outside on a July afternoon, at the property in question.

Regardless, Buddy, Mr. Hunter (the property owner variously pushing rezoning and road abandonment over the past few months), Mr. Hunter's attorneys, a number of Mr. Hunter's employees, and roughly 40 neighborhood residents in vocal opposition to the road abandonment and past and future rezonings had yet another "frank exchange of views".

It was a resounding statement by the neighborhood, and showcased just how out of touch Councilman Baker is with his job and his constituents. You can watch the footage of the meeting over on the Media page.

District 20 neighbors, West Nashvillians, and Nationites, it's time to do one final round of "Call Your Councilman". Tell them the neighbors have taken matters into their own hands: they cleaned up the alley this week themselves, they have started neighborhood watch, they have gotten "no dumping" signs in the alley, they are arranging for a camera on the alley, they have set up Nations Watch to track dumping (and soon other neighborhood problems), as well as the 358-TELL phone reporting system. and Buddy Baker is not representing their wishes on this issue.

Our neighborhood takes matters into its own hands.

We won our vote at the Metro Planning Commission. We won a forced deferral from Metro Council. Our councilman, Buddy Baker, promised us a community meeting to hear our voices on our zoning fears and the ill-advised road abandonment request he is supporting. We have been in the newspapers, on numerous television stations, and repeatedly reported on online.

Unfortunately, our Councilman called no meeting, after over 3 months of promises. In fact many neighbors are still waiting to receive an invite for a meeting that is still promised.

So we called our own meeting on July 1st. Dozens of our neighbors came, as did Councilman Baker and the two expensive attorneys representing the applicant for road abandonment and zoning changes. The councilman informed us that the zoning request had been formally withdrawn, which is something of a win, even though the request can be immediately re-submitted at any time in the future.

Neighbors asked for Councilman Baker to withdraw the road abandonment, but he refused. There was a "frank exchange of views" wherein the Councilman was taken to task for supporting a single campaign contributor over the wishes of neighbors next to the property and all across the district. He refused to budge, however, leaving neighbors somewhat at a loss.

But, during the meeting there was also a chunk of time dedicated to finding positive ways to improve the neighborhood, to make our streets safer, to reduce dumping and crime which are a problem all over the Nations and the rest of West Nashville, and to relieve some of the burden with the Councilman has to shoulder in dealing with issues that affect the entire neighborhood.

Out of that brainstorming session has come a flurry of quick progress. Our neighbors are really interested in improving the place we live, and we have to thank a handful of bad actors for bringing us together to work for a better neighborhood. Some notes on the progress:

  • Neighbors have already spoken with the North precinct on the logistics of setting up a strong Neighborhood Watch program. Our first organizational meeting will be on or about July 26th (venue to be announced soon), with a possible Neighborhood Watch event during the August 3rd "National Night Out Against Crime".
  • Neighbors have begun daily drive-through's at the 43rd Avenue site, checking the status of dumped trash, unmowed lots, etc., and taking pictures to track the progress of dumping and cleanups in the area (you can find the daily pictures and archives over on the Media page)
  • Neighbors have also filed a formal request with Metro Public Works to install one of their mobile security cameras so that police can identify exactly who is responsible for dumping and loitering in that alley. As a first step, Metro Public Works is going to place 3 "No Dumping" signs in the alley as a preliminary deterrent.
  • Neighbors are now calling Metro Public Works and the sheriff's department about the progress of cleanups in the 43rd Avenue alley. The hope is that we can free up our Councilman to focus on higher-level concerns than one corner alley.
  • We are putting together a website for the neighborhood to report dumping and crime incidents in the neighborhood. The system will eventually be able to take reports via not only the website, but by cell phone text messages, email, and even twitter posts. Ultimately we hope to be able to provide a single place where neighbors can report and track dumping as well as Neighborhood Watch events. We can take back the responsibility of watching and cleaning up our own neighborhood, and hopefully make the Nations a cleaner and safer place.

You can look at the preliminary website by visiting

We'll have more news about that system as we get it configured to be truly helpful.

We still need your support -- sign our petition(!) and write to your Metro Council folks and tell them to VOTE DOWN or DEFER the 43rd Avenue road abandonment proposal which will be on its FINAL reading on July 20th.


Help us stop the proposed conversion of residential property in West Nashville into industrial land!

A West Nashville property owner (James Ron Hunter, also a campaign contributor to our Councilman Buddy Baker's campaign) wants to convert his residential parcels into industrial land! The picture of houses above on the left is diagonally across the street, while the picture of trash on the right is inside the industrial lot which would be expanded.

Read all about what's going on below and then help us save our neighborhood ...

Press coverage, Videos, Pictures, and more!

Check out the Media page for all the news coverage, photos of the site, movies of meetings, etc., etc., etc.!

What Is Going On?

The owner of 4300, 4302, 4304, 4306, 4308 and 4312 Georgia Avenue in West Nashville is requesting that the zoning of these properties be changed from residential to industrial.

In April the property owner requested an "abandonment" of portions of 43rd Avenue adjoining these properties, as well as the alley adjacent to the residential parcels, citing difficulty in securing the property.

The same property owner has also been buying up even more adjacent residential parcels and removing the houses. Only one homeowner still remains in all the parcels to the south of the industrial lot!

At their June hearing, the Metro Planning Commission rejected the road abandonment request! At the Tuesday July 20th Metro Council meeting the road abandonment will go for its 3rd and final reading.

We need you to contact Metro Council and tell them to VOTE AGAINST this road abandonment on Tuesday July 20th. If you can come out to the downtown Metro Courthouse for the meeting we'd certainly appreciate your show of support!

Why Are We Opposed?

The dangers of rezoning to industrial...

Residential zoning and Industrial zoning are at opposite ends of the spectrum of land usage. Residential land is rarely rezoned for other uses, even low-impact commercial usages. Rezoning all the way to industrial is an extreme change and should almost never happen. In an established neighborhood such as this it is unforgiveable to reduce residential parcels in favor of industrial land.

Rezoning this land sets a dangerous precedent. Given that the landowner owns other properties in the immediate vicinity it is likely that a future rezoning request would convert residential lots into an industrial swath that extends all the way to the interstate.

Currently the industrial areas at the edge of the neighborhood have been put to lighter industrial uses. Increasing the size of the industrial plot makes the land more valuable for resale to heavy industrial users. This area was saved from a waste transfer plant back in 2002 because the industrial plot was too small. We believe the intent of the property owner is to aggregate a large tract of industrial land from the neighborhood for resale for heavy industrial use.

More industrial land means more heavy truck traffic. The peculiar geography of this corner of our neighborhood (bordered by a rail line and an interstate) means that increased truck traffic must travel on 46th, 51st, and Indiana, Georgia, and Illinois Avenues. These routes are already restricted to truck traffic, but truck traffic is already heavy on these streets despite the restrictions. This rezoning will only worsen those problems.

The following is what appears to be the goal -- consolidation of parcels south to the Interstate into one large industrial swath suitable for resale for heavy-impact industrial uses, such as a waste transfer plant:

Road abandoment, or "sneaking rezoning in the back door"...

The property owner attempted to get a road abandonment passed before the rezoning was to be heard.

  • A road abandonment request does not require notifying neighbors (unlike a full-blown zoning hearing), so it almost slipped under the radar.
  • Abandoning the roads surrounding the residential parcels strengthens the case for rezoning the residential parcels (as removing the roads makes it more difficult to have residential uses!)
  • We were able to convince the Planning Commission that the rezoning should be heard before, or at least concurrently with, the road abandonment request, and a number of the Commissioners made it clear that they would not favor a zoning change, especially if the neighborhood is against it.

Neighbors on 43rd, Georgia, and Indiana were polled door-to-door and two striking things were found:

  1. None of the neighbors were aware of the abandonment or rezoning requests
  2. All of the neighbors were strongly opposed to abandoning those roads and strongly opposed to the proposed zoning change.

West Nashville's character, as protected by our Area Plan...

The area under consideration is on the end of a residential street, facing several lots with homes on them. Right now, under their current zoning, the properties could be developed in keeping with the residential character of the rest of the neighborhood.

Under the new zoning residential options are closed and the long-standing residential neighborhood will be forever changed by industrial expansion and increased traffic.

And, to top it off -- West Nashville just completed a years-in-the-making West Nashville Community Plan. That plan is the overarching guide for how planning and zoning decisions should be made in our neighborhoods. That West Nashville Plan comes out strongly in favor of preserving residential areas, and is opposed to converting our established residential land to any other use!

1-page Info Flyer

We also have a 1-page information flyer explaining what's going on download it here.

Read and see more!

Check out the Media page for all the news coverage, photos of the site, movies of meetings, etc., etc., etc.!