This newsletter’s Neighborhood News section is about honoring people. At the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber’s second annual Influencing Women Awards Gala, a few 15th District community members were honored. Big congratulations and well-deserved awards went to Nicole Vaughan with the Heart of Donelson-Hermitage Award, Kerra Bennett with the Woman to Watch Award, and Laurie Eakes Ford and Mill Creek Mercantile with the WOW (Woman-Owned Workplace) Award. Congrats to all the well-deserved winners. Photo credit to Sarah Boyce Photography.
I was honored recently to present two proclamations to constituents on very special occasions. Congratulations to Billy Sanford on his 80th birthday and Ann Clayton on her 100th birthday! Billy Sanford is a great musician and the day he moved here in 1954, Roy Orbison asked him to be in his band. The famous guitar work we all know in Pretty Woman is none other than Billy. And Ann Clayton is an extraordinary neighbor as well! She celebrated her 100th birthday with family and church friends and the next day went on a big cruise! I’m so thankful for the opportunity to recognize neighbors on their special days like these.
Public Works was opened up the application period for their Traffic Calming Program. Visit this link to learn more and apply.
Here’s a great story about the 58th annual Christmas Story program by the Kelley family in Donelson Hills.
I was very pleased that Merry Oaks was selected to be part of the revamped Traffic Calming Program. Launched last year in a new format, it ensures that data-driven decision making is used twice a year to ensure the greatest efficacy of efforts in our neighborhoods. Merry Oaks scored high as far as speeding and incidents within neighborhoods. Thanks to Merry Oaks neighbor John Landing for applying and leading this effort, the subsequent neighborhood meeting was well attended and feedback was used to put together the below preliminary investments to slow traffic down and make it more friendly for pedestrians and drivers alike. Work will continue with the neighbors of Merry Oaks to refine the investments. I encourage all neighborhoods to apply for the program and work towards improve the conditions in your neighborhood.
Do you live in the Perry Heights neighborhood? You’ve no doubt noticed one of your entranceway signs along Elm Hill Pike has fallen. I’d like to help out and have engaged Joslin Sign Company to recreate them. I need your help and engagement. Please contact me and let’s raise a few funds in the neighborhood to bring back the neighborhood’s entranceway sign. If you’re on Facebook and live in Perry Heights, I encourage you to join their neighborhood group here. I’d love to see the neighborhood more organized and engaged. I think this need to rally around replacing and maintaining the entranceway signs is a good cause to get behind! Here’s a picture of the existing one on Donelson Pike.
I had the extraordinary honor and privilege recently to present a proclamation to Joe Davis, World War II veteran, serving in the US Army where he earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Joe celebrated his 100th birthday on Memorial Day. I so enjoyed our visit as he told me about being part of the invasion of Sicily on July 10, 1943. After the war, Joe enjoyed a long career at the US Postal Service. An amazing man and hero.
I’m very aware and staying on top of construction related issues with folks living behind Donelson Plaza off of Benson Road. Don’t hesitate to call my cell – 615-886-9906, and I will stay on top of this and work to ensure there is safe passage for trash trucks, delivery and neighbors just trying to get back and forth to their homes. Thanks for your patience. It’s a big project and it’ll be great when finished, but I know it’s a big pain to deal with right now.
Congratulations to Merry Oaks neighbors for kicking off a campaign event on June 1st from 4-7pm on Woodberry Court to build their own beautified entranceway sign. If you’re in Merry Oaks or want to contribute to this project, see flyer below for details.
Also in Merry Oaks, they were identified as the neighborhood needing paving the most and will be getting the following streets paved during the warm months:
- Deerwood Road from Fairway Drive to Blue Hills Drive
- Fairway Drive from Lebanon Pike to Deerwood Road
- Elm Tree Drive from Elm Hill Pike to Acord Drive
- Mapleleaf Drive from Elm Tree Drive to Massman Drive
Another sign recently cleaned up by Craigmeade neighbor Josh Gulick turned out great. Neighbors have plans to continue working on it.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the May 18 Clean-Up for the community organized by District’s 12 and 15 Beautification Commissioners Erin Evans and Michele Mazzu respectively. Thanks to McGavock High School for hosting, Sgt Jeff White with MNPD for collecting old prescriptions, Troop 700 for spending the morning collecting tons of trash on the area around McGavock Pike near the school and all the volunteers. Randy Mazzu, Karen Cowell and I enjoyed cooking burger and hot dogs for everyone in the Dumpster Diner.
A good friend in music, Shannon Williford was a Metro Parks employee and ran the summer music programs for Parks and also earned a Keeping the Blues Alive Award from The Blues Foundation for his Blues in the Schools programs here in Nashville. He recently performed one of his programs at Two Rivers Middle. He and family moved back home to Louisiana and he will be missed but wish him well and so thankful for his friendship and service to so many kids in Nashville. Terry Bulger at WSMV recently did a story about him. Enjoy it here.
Congratulations to River Glen HOA President Pam Miller for being a finalist in Neighbor 2 Neighbor (https://www.tnrc.net/) ’s Trew Neighbor Award named after in remembrance of Donelson’s very own Frank Trew. She was among great neighborhood leaders in the county recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of her neighborhood.
I’m pleased to report that a short but high priority stretch of sidewalk that I’ve been advocating for many years has been funded. I took this picture one morning on my way to the gym and posted it to Instagram as a reminder to of what motivates me. For almost two decades, I’ve watched my neighbors walk the white line on the edge of Lebanon Pike to make it to the WeGo bus stop. I’ve seen elderly, mothers with babies in strollers and even school children cross from the other side of Lebanon Pike across four lanes and a median to get into Donelson Hills. It can’t be built fast enough.
Speaking of unsafe areas for pedestrians, Walk Bike Nashville has launched an “” initiative to highlight the most dangerous areas in Davidson County to cross. It is based on 2010-2013 crash data from Public Works where pedestrian injury and/or fatalities have occurred. I support the work of Walk Bike Nashville and encourage everyone to join them. Here is data specific to District 15.
Thanks to the Spence Enclave Home Owner’s Association for inviting me out to their annual Spring meeting on March 23rd. At that meeting, the engineer and real estate representative for the buyer as part of a development team working on a small strip center at 1510 Lebanon Pike came to present their proposal. It would be the first development that would adhere to the requirements of the Lebanon Pike Study we spent time putting together last year. The proposal would redevelop the property (currently a former single family home being used as an office for a cab company) into a small strip center that would be anchored by a Burger King. While no one is thrilled at the concept of a Burger King, the development team assured neighbors that their desired tenants with the other two or three spaces would be quality and not anything to lower the quality of the area (i.e. cash advance / payday loan, vape shop, etc.). They are scheduled to be at the Planning Commission on Thursday, April 25th. This is a public hearing and the meeting starts at 4pm. Keep tabs with the Planning Commission’s website here where the agenda will be released (generally a week before the meeting). There will be three readings then at Council and the second will also be a public hearing.
Save the date! Saturday, May 18th from 8am – noon will be our annual spring clean-up for Districts 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. If your neighborhood would like to participate in a clean-up project, please contact Michele Mazzu at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can help support you with supplies. I hear there will be a “Dumpster Diner” at the bulk item drop off location at McGavock High School.
Thanks to neighbors in the Pennington Bend area for your diligence and working together and taking care of each other during the recent major rain event that nearly caused some horrible flooding. I was in constant contact with our Office of Emergency Management. I encourage everyone to review the OEM link and review the NERVE system, which will be a key communication portal for everyone should it be fully activated in a major event. OEM and NERVE were partially activated during the previous event. My thanks as well to the Red Cross, who set up a shelter at McGavock High School. McGavock also was served as a staging area for Metro Police before they headed into the neighborhood to communicate to neighbors to recommend evacuations. Fortunately, we dodged a bullet and the rain stopped. However, due to the incredible amount of rain, water levels on the Cumberland River will remain elevated for some time. I also strongly encourage everyone to follow the Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s website and social media platforms. They are very informative. The Corps of Engineers has done a very good job managing their dams and water levels to avoid flooding.
Save the date! Saturday, May 18th from 8am – noon will be our annual spring clean-up for Districts 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. If your neighborhood would like to participate in a clean-up project, please contact Michele Mazzu at email@example.com and she can help support you with supplies.
It’s always good to be with neighbors who are working to strengthen their neighborhoods. Thanks to Lincoya Hills Neighborhood Association neighbors for inviting me to gather with them at Caliber Coffee recently to enjoy time with old friends and meet some new neighbors. My thanks as well to Officers from our Hermitage Precinct for attending as well. LHNA Board Member Mike Windus for snapping this picture of LHNA President Jenny White, 15th District Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu and me.
I ran across this original map of one of our district’s neighborhoods – Creekside Heights. I love history and thought I’d share this. It’s kind of hard to read, but still neat to see one of the original plans for one of our neighborhoods.
Gladys Arnold here in Donelson recently turned 102 and is the first recipient of a Centenarian Award given by newly created Davidson County chapter of The Century Club by Family Staffing Solutions. Gladys is a beloved member of FiftyForward Donelson Station. I was honored to present a proclamation to her from Mayor David Briley and celebrate her birthday with her.
I’m very happy to report that the Logue House at the corner of Lebanon Pike and Cottage Lane in Donelson Hills is receiving a Metro Historic Overlay that will protect it for generations to come. I was also able to secure a Metro Historic Marker and Mayor Briley and members of the Historic Commission joined us for a wonderful event to celebrate. Big hearted thanks goes to owner Gary Slattery who has been so supportive of protecting this property.
Our Hermitage Precinct is always looking for feedback from residents. Below is a Community Policing Survey you can use to provide feedback. Please send it to Sgt Jeff White at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop it by the precinct.
Mayor Briley has begun to attend neighborhood meetings to listen and get input from neighbors all across the county and recently he came to River Glen in the Pennington Bend area. I can’t thank our Mayor enough for the time spent listening and especially this neighborhood that is still struggling with some post-May 2010 flood issues. Our Mayor was genuine and very gracious in his desire to try and help. After he left, the meeting went on and I was then shocked and very moved to be presented by Coleen Sakamoto, a member of their HOA board, with this handmade lei made from flowers flown in from Hawaii where she is originally from as a thank you for representing them and trying to help with their ongoing issues as well. It’s extraordinary and I’ve never seen or smelled more beautiful flowers nor have I ever seen a true Hawaiian lei! It was a really thoughtful gesture and I’ll treasure it always.
Mayor Briley also recently visited the Maplecrest Neighborhood Association and listened and addressed issues as well as laid out his vision for the future.
Neighbors in the Sunset View neighborhood and close by have been experiencing quite a bit of disturbance by a group of car enthusiasts who were using Two Rivers Park’s Wave Country parking lot that steadily escalated way beyond just parking and showing off their cars. Donuts in the parking lot were loud and making the parking lot look awful. Videos online showed extremely loud cars with flames out the tailpipes. It is assumed this was also the staging ground for many motorcycles who have been racing on Briley Parkway. Thanks to the efforts by Metro Parks Police and Hermitage Precinct, this behavior was stopped. It’s not easy to catch these random pop-up events, so I worked with Metro Parks and they will be installing some additional elements to the parking lot to ensure there will be no after-hours access by groups like this. See image below for details on improvements coming to the Wave County parking lot. Through assistance by Metro PD, I also reached out to the leaders of this group and invited them to sit down and chat. Most involved are teens or in their early twenty’s. We met recently and we discussed the situation that while I don’t think they’re criminals, they can’t continue to operate this way if they want be a legitimate group, which they do indeed desire. We discussed the proper process for requesting use of a Metro Parks property and what activities would be allowed and not allowed. It seemed to be a productive time spent and my hope is that this year they will legitimatize their events. That said, they will no longer be able to access Two Rivers Park for this any longer.
I submitted a recommendation for modifying the speed limit on McGavock Pike from Lebanon Pike north to the RR tracks from 40 mph to 35 mph. It was approved and will be implemented soon.
I was honored to present a proclamation to Roland White as he turns 80-years young and was recently inducted into the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Roland! Be sure to catch one of Roland’s shows at Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace and at the legendary Station Inn.
I will be having a community meeting on Thursday, July 19th at 6pm at Lakewood Baptist Church at 400 Donelson Pike for Woodberry Park neighbors in regards to a rezoning proposal of Donelson Pike 222-228, the four single family homes that have mostly been abandoned over the past few years. There is a proposal for a mixed-use development. Below is a preliminary schematic of the proposal.
The Fairway Drive Sidewalk Project is finally underway! As you drive on Fairway Drive, please take caution and slow down. Currently, Piedmont Natural Gas is relocating a gas line. It should take several months to complete.
Thanks to everyone who attended our community meeting at Grace Church of the Nazarene regarding the non-owner occupied short term rental that had a huge party and an AK-47 was used to shoot up the house. Thanks to Commander Preston Brandimore, Sergeant Jeff White and the detectives working the case for updating neighbors on the status of the investigation. Thanks as well to Codes Director Bill Herbert for coming to explain steps taken as well as the impact of the newly enacted State legislation, which limits the authority of what action we can take now in regards to STR’s. The positive tangible step that came out of the meeting is the beginnings of forming a more solid communication network for Miami Avenue residents and hopefully a formal Neighborhood Watch.
Thanks to 15th District Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu for hosting a “Dirt on Composting” community forum at FiftyForward Donelson Station. Here is more information on composting from Metro as well as Compost Nashville has a lot of information on their site as well.
Michelle continues these educational community meetings on Saturday August 4th at FiftyForward Donelson Station with a Recycling 101, which is a class that presents an overview on the importance of waste reduction and ways that waste reduction can be met – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! This will touch on each area for waste reduction, what Public Works is doing and what resources are available city- wide.
Congratulations to Abbington Park HOA President Rick Cowan for being appointed by Mayor Briley to serve on the Emergency Communications District Board. Below is Rick and family meeting with Mayor Briley prior to his confirmation by Metro Council at our June 19th meeting.
For those in and around Abbington Park, the annexation from GSD to USD will be implemented this year. Here is the schedule of implementation.
I continue to work on Traffic Calming efforts a great deal. Sunset View is currently being studied and Colonial Circle is a narrow road that is used often as a cut through and needs support. Neighborhoods that are part of the Traffic Calming Program will continue to be studied to evaluate if what was installed is working and if anything further needs to be done. Woodberry Park is also being studied and as part, Lakeland Drive will be reduced from 35 MPH to 30 MPH. Additionally, Hargis Heights (Stinson Road) will be studied and McGavock Pike in front of Kroger has become quite congested and the speed limit there would benefit everyone from being lowered.
Thanks to Merry Oaks neighbors for coming to Donelson Presbyterian Church to learn about the multi-family proposal at the corner of Briley Parkway / Lebanon Pike. Overall, the feedback from neighbors was positive. These will be market-rate and for-sale product. They’ll only be accessible from Lebanon Pike and not be accessible from within the Merry Oaks neighborhood. As of the writing of my newsletter, nothing has been filed yet, but once it is, it’ll go through the standard rezoning process of three readings at Council (second is public hearing) and the Planning Commission as well (also a public hearing). Conceptual renderings are below.
The Neighborhoods Resource Center is launching their inaugural Conference for Neighborhoods on April 14th. One of the breakout sessions is called “From Neighborhood Leader to Metro Council Member” and pleased to join District 34 Councilwoman Angie Henderson and District 6 Councilman Brett Withers on this panel. There are other breakout sessions and panels, so I encourage anyone currently involved or interested in being involved in your neighborhood to look into attending this conference.
I’ve received some inquiries regarding NES changing out meters. They are gradually switching from analog meters, which are no longer manufactured, to digital meters. NES has used digital Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT) meters (often called smart meters) since the late 1990's. They began installing AMI meters (often also called smart meters) in early 2012. They are currently at 75% deployment after a slow rollout that will hopefully be completed by 2020. AMI technology, supplied by Landis and Gyr, enables the meters to be read remotely, so meter readers do not have to enter a customer's property every month. This two-way communication with the electric grid improves service and power reliability for customers and helps NES better manage the energy load on our system. All meters used by NES meet applicable safety standards. They have been approved by the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates radio frequency emissions nationally, and follow American National Standards Institute (ANSI) radio frequency standards. The radio frequencies emitted by AMI meters are much lower than cell phones, cordless phones or baby monitors. In addition, the data received from AMI meters is no different than the information they currently have access to. The only change is that it is remotely reported to NES daily rather than once a month. Meter upgrades are happening over various parts of the service area and customers are notified by mail before the switch out takes place. NES offers a temporary deferral option to allow customers to opt-out of receiving an AMI meter for a monthly fee. Customers can call NES Customer Relations at 615-736-6900 to request an AMI deferral form. Alternatively, NES residential customers may hire an electrician to mount a new meter pedestal and base away from their home in close proximity to the street to install the AMI meter. For additional information, visit their webpage here.
There are three updates in regards to my focus on traffic calming and safety in our neighborhoods:
- In Donelson Hills, a 4-way stop sign will be installed at Cottage Lane and Dellrose Drive. It is with deep regret that the initiative of this effort began with a fatal crash at this intersection. This intersection has long been a dangerous one with limited site distance and consistent speeding.
- In Elm Hill Acres, the speed limit has been reduced on Sanborn Drive from 35 to 30. Most of our single family neighborhoods do not have sidewalks and our streets must be shared with pedestrians. Every effort needs to be made to make them safe pedestrians and drivers.
- McGavock Pike, while it is well-travelled and used by many, it is essentially a residential street and should remain so in my opinion. Towards that effort, I’ve asked that large trucks not use it as a cut-through and for this to be an enforceable policy via the Traffic & Parking Commission. So far, the stretch from Elm Hill Pike to Lebanon Pike has been deemed so and I am awaiting confirmation that the stretch from Lebanon Pike to Pennington Bend Rd will be so as well.
I’m pleased to share two good pieces of news for Maplecrest. The first is the long awaited sidewalk on Fairway Drive. It’s finally moving forward. Public Works is hoping to start work on it this fall, but legislation has to go through for right of way acquisition and working with each property owner still needs to happen, but we’re getting there. Here is a diagram.
Special thanks to Lanny & Sonya Dunkum for installing two Donelson Community Blessing Boxes at Donelson Church of the Nazarene on Donelson Pike last Fall. Participation is based on a “take what you need, donate what you can” premise. See flyer below for details and how you can contact Lenny & Sonya to support their effort.
The Metro Action Commission's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time assistance to income eligible families to help pay electricity, natural gas or other home energy payments. The application period goes from July 1, 2017 until June 30, 2018. The program aims to assist low income households, primarily those who pay a high proportion of household income on home energy, in meeting their immediate energy needs. Customers may print the application, attach the supporting documentation and mail it in or submit it in person. Customers may also call and request the application by mail or e-mail. All information is on their website at the link above. Please spread the word to neighbors.
As I’ve reported in previous newsletters, I’m very much aware that the Traffic Calming Program in Metro is greatly needed in many of our neighborhoods. It’s a slow process, primarily because it’s currently a contract position with Metro. However, I believe that with this upcoming budget, that will change and more resources will be devoted to it. I know questions wondering why such as speed bumps, speed humps and other techniques and elements that we see in other cities aren’t used here are on the minds of a lot of neighbors. I’m hopeful that as we improve the quality and availability of this program, we’ll see an increase in a variety of tools and techniques. The above website has a link for you to request traffic calming in your neighborhood.
Brush Pick-Up is coming soon, so get out there and clean up your yards and get the brush to the curb.
With the warm weather here, that means door-to-door sales folks will be walking the neighborhoods. Remember that Metro has a Do Not Knock List and you have to renew every year.
Special thanks to River Glen neighbors Kerra Bennett, who helped organize a litter clean-up of Pennington Bend Road. With help from 15th District Beautification Commissioner Naomi Regensburg who provided bright shirts, bags and gloves, a team of us went from the McGavock Pike / Pennington Bend Road intersection to the River Glen neighborhood entrance. Very special thanks goes to Sgt Jeff White with our Hermitage Precinct, who accompanied us in his patrol car and on foot to help ensure the traffic on Pennington Bend Road was aware of people walking on the shoulder. Check out all the bags of trash below that we collected. Great team effort!
The Metro Historic Zoning Commission Foundation will host their 5th Annual Old House Fair on Saturday, March 4 from 9am – 3pm at Sevier Park Community Center, 3021 Lealand Avenue. The Old House Fair is a daylong festival that introduces property owners to new ideas, practical advice, innovative materials and quality services through exhibitors and presentations.
Thanks to the efforts of River Glen neighbor Kerra Bennett, we are putting together a volunteer litter clean-up of Pennington Bend Road on Sunday, February 26 from 1-3pm. In conjunction with our 15th District Beatification Commissioner, Naomi Regensburg, Public Works and MNPD, we will have brightly colored vests, signage, gloves, bags and signage along PB Road to help ensure safety. Sergeant Jeff White from the Hermitage Precinct will be there as well to help with safety. As the saying goes, "many hands make light work". We would love volunteers to help out! Thanks again to Kerra for getting this going. We will meet at Grace Nazarene on at 1pm on Sunday, Feb 26.
Abbington Park neighbors have been experiencing multiple issues with the undeveloped land where the third phase of their neighborhood is to be built. This plans were approved a number of years ago so I can’t stop them from happening. The issues and latest update is as follows:
- Dump trucks were going too fast through the neighborhood and on Pennington Bend Road. Thanks to MNPD, they reacted quickly and have been on top of this. The owner has a grading permit.
- The developer has a grading permit. However, Metro Stormwater investigated the site at my request and found violations of that permit that included dumping in areas not allowed and not performing an equal amount of cut for the amount of fill that is being brought in. Since this is in floodplain, the developer must ensure they are only rising up the areas allowed and they must ensure an equal amount of material is removed to retain an equal amount of flood water storage. They levied a fine against the developer and put a stop order on the work. They are requiring a mitigation plan that is due by May 3. I had a meeting with Stormwater with many questions about the development, timing of the mitigation plan and how we can ensure they perform the grading work in a reasonable amount of time so neighbors do not have to endure dump trucks in their neighborhood consistently. I have asked if another entrance could be established for the work that is not through the neighborhood. I have also asked if Metro Stormwater needs additional legislatively authorized tools to have a greater control over these aspects of the development. I will stay on this.
- Hunters are using the undeveloped land. It is legal in Davidson County, but it has to be in hunting season. Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency
Below are the site plans for the next phase of Abbington Park.
I had a great time at Donelson Heights United Methodist with Troop 700, discussing my role as a Council Member and the vision for where our community is headed. They have a great group of kids, parents and leadership. My son, Joey, is on track to earn his Eagle this year, so I know firsthand how important Scouts is and the positive impact it has on families.
The Neighborhoods Resource Center and Nashville Neighborhood Alliance are attempting to determine the number of active neighborhood organizations (associations, watches, HOAs, and resident and/or condo associations that are active in Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County.)
Their goals are to (1) improve databases so that they can more effectively communicate with neighborhood organizations; (2) create an online directory of neighborhood organizations for access by the public (including other neighborhood leaders); (3) determine the organizational types and the level of participation in neighborhood organizations; and, (4) gain a sense of the organizational and neighborhood issues facing these organizations.
Your participation will help the NRC and NNA better serve neighborhoods across Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. Take the 2017 census here: NRC 2017 Neighborhood Census