The highly anticipated public hearing on the proposed May Town Center is still a go for Tuesday, but the Metro Council can’t vote on the matter until March 16, according to council attorney Jon Cooper.
Under rule 22 of the council’s rules of procedure, “Any ordinance or resolution which has been deferred indefinitely for a period of more than one hundred eighty (180) days shall automatically be deferred for one meeting upon being placed back upon the agenda at the request of the sponsor pursuant to this rule.”
After a proposed zoning change to accommodate the $4 billion mixed-use development failed in the Metro Planning Commission over the summer, District 1 Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr., who represents the Bells Bend community, opted in July to defer the ordinance indefinitely.
But citing new life for the project in light of the recent approval of the $585 million Music City Center, Matthews a month ago reintroduced the bill on second reading. A public hearing on May Town is slated for Tuesday, but voting on the project would have to be deferred at least one meeting.
“No action can be taken on the bill,” Cooper told The City Paper Friday. “It would have to be deferred by rule automatically unless the council suspended the rules. The public hearing could proceed. The rule only speaks to action on the bill.”
May Town Center — billed by its supporters as an opportunity to compete with Cool Springs and Williamson County for corporate headquarters — has faced heavy criticism from environmentalists and council members who worry the development would compete with downtown, while destroying an environmentally pristine area of Davidson County.
To clear second reading, according to Cooper, the bill would need a simple majority of votes among the council members present. If it cleared second reading, the ordinance would need 27 council votes to be approved on third and final reading.