Council News – February 2016
This year is a big voting year for all levels – local, state and national. The first is our presidential and county primary election on March 1st. Early voting has already begun. See the below flyer for the full schedule.
As we all know, our housing market has soared to new heights with the growth occurring here in Nashville-Davidson County. That growth and increase in property values will be evidenced in next year’s property reassessment. In order to answer questions about this process and what to expect for our area, Property Assessor George Rooker and staff will be hosted by your Donelson-Hermitage-Old Hickory area Council Members at the Hermitage Precinct on Thursday, February 25th. See flyer below for more details.
I’m happy to report the Board of Zoning Appeals denied the appeal for TN Quick Cash to use the former Papa Murphy’s building on January 21st. Thanks to everyone who showed up, spoke and wrote the BZA in support of denying this appeal. TN Quick Cash has 60-days from that hearing to litigate this issue. I hope they do not choose that path and rather sell or find another business to lease the building that Donelson will be proud of and strongly support.
I am very also thankful for the strong support I’ve received from the community and Council colleagues after introducing BL2016-117 which is my proposed ordinance to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again and protects the integrity of the distance requirements set forth in BL2014-908. There are fundamentally two aspects to my proposed legislation – 1) Adding “Flex Loans” to the distance requirements, which was the crux of the issue with TN Quick Cash’s argument that they were a new offering and did not need to abide by the distance requirements. 2) To try and ensure this situation would not arise again, “Installment Loans” was also added. “Installment Loan” is a broad term and could be misconstrued to believe the proposed legislation was focused beyond the Alternative Financial Services industry. That is certainly not my intent. Therefore, I’ve introduced BL2016-132 as a new proposed ordinance taking a different, yet more cohesive approach, utilizing an hours-of-operation distinction, which will more clearly differentiate other lending businesses from the AFS industry. I will likely withdraw 117 if 132 moves forward.
Short Term Rentals has been an issue at Council recently and I’ve received a few questions about it. The Metro Codes Administration website has excellent information about the process, requirements and limits. Visit their website here for more information.
The Metropolitan Action Commission has already helped nearly 20% more customers with their utility payments since this time last year. It is expected that the colder temperatures during the month of January may mean that even more families may need help. In addition to the weekday hours, Metro Action will also be open every Saturday in the month of February to accept energy assistance applications from 10am until 2pm. The agency is located in the Clifford Allen Building, located at 800 2nd Avenue North. Parking is available on site. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a one-time energy assistance program that helps families with low incomes to meet their household energy costs.
I am honored to have been asked by Mayor Barry and Interim Schools Director Chris Henson to serve on the Advisory Council of Music Makes Us. I look forward to working to help make Nashville the leader in making music education the best anywhere in the country. My first meeting with this great organization will be in March.