Discussions continue with Lincoya Hills on a Contextual Overlay that will help control the type of development that can occur within the neighborhood. It is a delicate balance of wanting to protect the character and integrity of the neighborhood while giving families the ability to expand their homes to meet their needs. It’s not a balance that can be made perfect as there are no true character definitions of our mid-20th Century single family neighborhoods. But I know there is a desire to keep “tall skinnies” out and protect some aspect of character. That does mean neighbors have to agree to some limitations, and I also hear the concerns loud and clear that some don’t want to be encumbered with any restrictions.
There are opportunities to make a direct impact on students that attend Metro schools right here in Donelson with specific needs. There are a number of children in each of our schools that meet the criteria for being homeless and do not have adequate clothing and food needs. Thanks to Grace Church of the Nazarene and Hip Donelson, you can donate towards helping support these students. Donate towards the local school food pantries and clothing closets (school standard attire, socks, shoes, and underwear) by sending a tax-deductible donation but clicking here via the Grace Nazarene website or in person at the Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market starting again this May. To donate items directly, they can be dropped off at Grace Church of the Nazarene at 2620 Pennington Bend Road, Nashville, TN 37214.
Two Rivers Middle School is also looking for reading tutors. If you have 30-60 minutes to spare once a week to help a child read, then please contact Nicole Vaughn at Two Rivers Middle, 615-885-8931. They currently have 15+ children on a waiting list because they do not have enough tutors.
To help you, below are Reading Clinic Training dates for this month. The training is 90 minutes and it is helpful as you get to learn some cool reading games to play with the students. Part of each reading tutoring session is listening to the child read for 15 minutes. Next, you play a game with them for 5-7 minutes, then you listen to the child retell what they read (3-5min) and finally, the child writes for 3min. Each training will be held at Carter Lawrence Elementary (1118 12th Ave South; the office of the Reading Clinics Director is there). Please email Nicole Valentine at Nicole.Valentine@MNPS.org if you plan to attend a training and she will let the director know to reserve a spot. The Two Rivers Middle Prep clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm according to the 30-minute time slot that works best for you (each tutor is asked to carve out 45 minutes once a week). The clinic will be open for nine more weeks (minus spring break and state testing week).
Friday, February 17th from 9:30am – 11am
Wednesday, February 22nd from 9:30am – 11am
Metro Nashville Public Schools is requested input on the next component of their strategic plan. Last November, MNPS solicited input on their Mission, Vision and Core Values Statements. Next is the Student & School Characteristics, drafted by Dr. Shawn Joseph, MNPS Director. Click here to view the Strategic Plan Process and give your input.
In Mayor Karl Dean’s last fiscal budget, he allocated $1 million to put aside towards investment in a campus each for Madison and Donelson of Nashville State Community College. It has been a big effort by local and state elected officials as well as a number of community leaders. Thanks also to Mia Keller with CBRE who was selected as the Tennessee Board of Regents broker for finding these campus locations. I’m very happy to say that effort has been successful and the Tennessee Board of Regents has purchased the former ITT Tech campus on Elm Hill Pike. The campus is in excellent condition and NSCC will be able to set up and open quickly. Two stories about this development are here and here.
The Friends of Two Rivers Mansion presents the annual Two Hearts Antiques & Crafts Show. There will be many vendors, coffee shop and an appraiser on site on Sunday, February 19. See flyer below for details. This is a great opportunity to visit the mansion and this event gets bigger every year!
The Cumberland River Compact is hosting a couple of fascinating events in February and March about the voyages of the namesake of our side of town. A reenactment and reflections of John Donelson’s journey to Nashville will be worthwhile time spent learning about the origins of Nashville. Check them out here and here for more information and to RSVP.
Hip Donelson Lost & Found Pets is hosting a benefit at Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace on Saturday, March 11th. As we all know, the leadership and volunteers with Hip D Lost & Found Pets do extraordinary work to advocate for our pets and help return them home when they are lost. Please consider attending this fund event or making a tax-deductible donation at the link above.
Another success story of the influence Hip Donelson Lost & Found Pets has had on reuniting pets with their owners is the No Lost Pet Nashville program that Metro Animal Care & Control has implemented. The program was developed by MACC to increase the chances of pets being returned to their owners. They are implementing the program in phases beginning with Found Dog Yard Signs and Printable Found Pet Signs for both cats and dogs. This will help reunite lost pets with their families, while improving live outcomes at the shelter. Similar programs have proven to improve Return to Owner percentage by 2% in year one and by more than 4% in year two of the program. This is just the beginning as the shelter is looking into the viability of using both Twitter and Interactive Maps to assist in reuniting pets with their families.
This is how it works: • MACC Officers will be equipped with yard signs in each of their vehicles. • Yard Signs and Printable Found Pets signs will be available at the intake desk when a stray is brought into the shelter and can be utilized by Community Lost and Found groups. If you are a Community Groups interested in sign pick-up please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a pick-up time for signs. • Both signs contain an animal identification number, description of the animal and the date the pet was found. • Finders are asked to leave the sign up for a minimum of three days.
Pictured below is Marylee Locey and Bethanie Conley of Hip D Lost & Found Pets, who work relentless on behalf of our four-legged kids.
A very exciting development is the announcement of “SoundWaves”, a $90 million water park that will built as an extension of the Opryland Hotel Convention Center & Resort. As you’ll read in the story, Ryman is seeking an incentive package that will cap property taxes after the 2017 reappraisal. I am sponsoring the bill and do so with confidence and secure quantifiable data that shows the strong economic impact this project will bring to tax revenues. The $90 million investment will show a strong return after the third year of operation and compared to other incentives that have been given downtown, I am comfortable that this is a warranted short-term freeze of property taxes of a project that will generate millions in economic impact and provide hundreds of new job opportunities.
Another exciting development in the Opry area is the Bavarian Bierhaus at Opry Mills. The 650-person beer hall will offer classic German brewery options and the oompah bands singing their tunes, so get your lederhosen ready for a great new entertainment option at Opry Mills. It is scheduled to open in April.
Yet another entertainment option coming to Opry Mills this Spring is a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. This will be music-themed and be in the location of the former Barnes & Noble book store. They are hosting a job fair soon. See flyer below for details.
Thanks to those that supported the re-opening of Donelson Bowl on February 11th after the break-in and vandalism that occurred. The community support was strong and they were back up and running in just a matter of days. Thanks again for the community’s support of Nashville’s oldest bowling alley.
Paper & Ink Arts had a great Grand Opening recently. The renovation to the building at 113 Graylynn Drive is extraordinary. I encourage you to go check it out. Everyone at the Grand Opening was given this catalog of all their projects and a set of calligraphy pens. I may just brush up on my calligraphy (I used to do it as a kid) and start signing all my bills and resolutions with these pens!
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.
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.
Over the past several months, Metro Planning, Public Works, MTA/RTA and I have been working on duplicating an effort already underway around the Music City Star’s Mt. Juliet Station where a developer is partnering with RTA on creating a Transit Oriented Development around the station on RTA land. We have created a Davidson County version of this RFP (Request For Proposal) and it is now available for developers to review and submit proposals. The link can be found here. There is a story about it from The Tennessean here. This is potential game changer that complements what Holladay Properties is formulating a vision of on the other side of Lebanon Pike at Donelson Plaza. As these developments continue to take shape, I will keep everyone updated via subsequent newsletters. It’s exciting times as we move ahead in realizing the vision for Downtown Donelson!
Lack of consistent and timely trash pick-up issues continue, but they are improving. Red River Waste Solutions is the company that has the contract with Metro. Metro put them on notice of violating the contract and they must act to resolve the issues they are experiencing quickly or they could lose their contract. They have come to every Public Works Committee meeting and provided updates. The company went through major management and personnel changes and now has a new management team working hard to fix their internal issues. I have established direct communications with their team, so please do not hesitate to email me if there is an issue. I will get on it immediately.
Charlie Cardwell, Metro Trustee, will be at FiftyForward Donelson Station on February 22 at 9:45am to discuss the Tax Freeze Act, which permits Metro to freeze the property taxes for homeowners 65 or older at the amount of the year they qualify. Call 615-883-8375 to RSVP and then also stop by before for breakfast or stay after for lunch at Donelson Café in The Larry Keeton Theater.
The update to the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks & Bikeways is available and Public Works is asking for your comments. Please review and you’ll note that Donelson is identified with a number of sidewalk and bikeway projects. Thanks for your input! Below is a great one-sheet that shows where we are headed strategically for sidewalk implementation.
Metro Parks is ready to release a draft of the Metro Parks and Greenways Master Plan. It was presented by Mayor Barry and Parks staff recently at the Nashville Downtown Library. The plan will also be on display at the Hermitage Community Center (and other community centers throughout the county) from February 13 – 26. Please plan on making your voice heard and give input to this plan.
Metro Parks is hiring Lifeguards for this coming summer. See flyer below for details.
Mayor Barry is challenging restaurants to reduce food waste, set a food-waste reduction target and work to reduce food waste over a three-month time frame. By participating in the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge, restaurants will reduce the amount of food sent to Middle Tennessee landfills, while helping to relieve hunger by donating wholesome, edible food to local nonprofits serving over 110,000 food-insecure residents in Davidson County.
Metro Water Services has a new map that shows all currently active water main breaks and the current status. This is a valuable resource. Access the website and map here.
Check out Nashville Public Libraries new Music Library! NPL BoomBox highlights local musicians from a variety of genres to help us discover new music. Enjoy!
I’m very proud of my next Hearts of the People blog. Laura Carrillo is a very special member of our community and has focused her passions professionally and personally on behalf of Two Rivers Mansion, a great deal of her efforts are behind the scenes and deserves our community’s deepest thanks and appreciation.
Laura Carrillo has a very unique and special connection to Donelson. Her family has helped care for Donelson’s crown jewel historic site – Two Rivers Mansion, for over 50 years and her dedication has helped make the Two Rivers Mansion, the 1802 House and 14-acre property the success it is today. Laura’s grandfather, Z.L. Milton, purchased a lot on Pennington Bend Road in 1959 to build a retirement home after working for years at Nashville Street Car and Rail. Laura’s parents married and moved into the home with Laura’s grandparents. After acquiring a few more contiguous properties, the family still lives there after four generations.
Laura recalls, “My grandfather started me on this journey when I was 5 years old. Mary Louise Bransford McGavock passed away in November of 1965. In January of 1966 her estate auction was held in a downtown Nashville warehouse with 8 inches of snow on the ground. All of the contents from inside the Mansion were sold and the remaining 445 acres were bought by the new Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County. After the sale took place someone broke in the Mansion stealing carpets, drapes all the chandeliers and back banister. Metro Police quickly recovered the stolen items. Now some security had to be put in place to protect the Mansion. My Grandfather got word that they were looking for someone to move into the Mansion and care for it. Not that my Grandparents wanted to live in a Mansion, but there was 445 acres to raise Black Angus cattle on. They moved from Pennington Bend to the McGavock Mansion (as it was known back then) in the winter of 1967 and stayed until 1972. So many fond memories with Grandparents and family were spent there. I wanted them to stay forever.”
Laura is able to combine a close personal connection to the Mansion and its history and a professional one as she has worked for Metro Parks for over 25 years. She further recalls, “Growing up down the street, attending both Two Rivers Middle and McGavock High, I would see the Mansion almost every day. A friend was getting married back in 1990 and I tagged along on the site visit. I just wanted to see the inside again and walk down memory lane for a moment. By accident I heard of a job opening there and the company I was working for was going out of business. I applied for the job and two weeks later they handed me the keys to the Donelson Castle!! Another journey had started and the plan was just to be there for a short time, which was 25 year ago this past March. “
Laura says she was born in the wrong century. As a lover of antiques, especially from the mid to late 1880’s, it’s a passion that she shares with husband, Joe. When they were dating, they’d spend all day in small towns going through all the antique shops and flea markets. Laura’s Mother-in-law had been an antique dealer and owned a shop. Laura and Joe plan their vacations around antiquing and touring historical homes. They even have his and hers antique booths to see who does better each month. They’ve both brought that passion to the Two Rivers Mansion with the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion’s “Two Hearts Antiques & Crafts Show, which this year will be Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 from 10am-4pm and Sunday, February 19 from 12pm – 4pm. The Mansion is full of vendors both downstairs and upstairs, so it’s a great opportunity to see the mansion as well. Members are free. $5/adults and $2/kids. There’s a Coffee Shoppe as well.
As to the future of the Mansion, the future is bright. One of the latest successes of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion is completing the process to research and design a Two Rivers Master Plan, which was recently finalized was presented to the Metro Parks Board on January 3, 2017. It will help guide the preservation and advancement of the property. One exciting element is the recommendation to rebuild the carriage house that would become an event center. The building would be designed to hold 200 – 300 people and could be used for all types of events. The inside of the Mansion and 1802 house would become house museums. Tours are only available now on a limited basis, but hopefully more will be available in the future. Laura’s personal and professional passions are on full display as she greets guests in her 1850’s costume and shares the whole McGavock story.
Markey Blue returns to The Larry Keeton Theater on Saturday, January 21st as part of the Larry Keeton Live series. They have sold out in the past pretty quickly, so be sure to buy tickets here in advance. Lots of great shows coming up in 2017, so be sure to check out their website and make plans to enjoy a great performance!
I was honored to be asked to serve as a dog walker at the 7th Annual Dinner With Your Dog fundraiser for the Nashville Humane Association on Saturday, January 21st at the Hutton Hotel. This year’s dinner is hosted by Tanya Tucker and chaired by Marcia Masulla. As part of my involvement, I’m challenged to raise $777. I’m almost 70% of the way there thanks so far to those listed on my CrowdRise fundraising page. It’s a tax-deductible donation. Any help is appreciated to reach the goal of $777!
Thanks to Metro Public Works for moving the signs below honoring our McGavock Band and Donelson Christian Academy Wildcats football team. It was moved just across from Donelson Hills Drive on Lebanon Pike. Now it can be more visible and properly displayed as part of our landscape design of The Donelson Gateway Projects site at Briley Parkway / Lebanon Pike.
I am thrilled that Fort Knox Studios has chosen the 15th District to locate their second location for a 180,000 square foot space on Massman Drive.. Fort Knox currently has a very successful location in Chicago and they are already starting to receive interest from notable artists and music industry veterans. Check out their FKS Nashville website that has a marketing brochure. Read the article about this development in The Tennessean here.
Congratulations to Cary Street on becoming the next Executive Director of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce. I’ve known Cary for several years and know she’ll bring great creative energy and experience from government to non-profits to this role and make us all proud.
I was also quite honored to receive the DH Chamber’s 2016 Community Service Award at the December year-end breakfast. Thanks to 2016 President Sharon Kipp for presenting it to me. It sits proudly on my desk at work next to the 2014 Anna Wiggs Memorial Award I received two years ago. I am very thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to work with the Chamber on making a difference in the community. The Chamber has great opportunities ahead in 2017 and beyond.
Congratulations to Paper & Ink Arts on their upcoming Grand Opening on Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 10am to 3pm. They did a wonderful job rehabbing their new home at 113 Graylynn Drive. Be sure to stop in and check them out. Additional parking is available across the street at Holy Rosary.
Last June, Nashville received a rare opportunity for areas of Davidson County to be designated as “Promise Zones” by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This program specifies six areas of the county to receive technical assistance and federal investment. One of those areas (Subzone 3) has a portion of the 37210 area of the 15th District. Read more about the Promise Zones here. To that end, there is an opportunity with AmeriCorps for a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Empowerment and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. See the documents below for more information and how to apply.
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