Giarratana asks planners to rehear May Town zoning request

Monday, August 24, 2009 at 6:52pm
Tony Giarratana

Tony Giarratana sent a letter to the Metro Planning Commission on Monday requesting a rehearing for May Town Center zoning, with a promise that the proposed development will be reduced in scope.

The Planning Commission voted 9-0-1 against the necessary rezoning for May Town Center to come to rural Bells Bend. But in reality, the commission was split 5-5 on the proposal and voted as such on the proposed amendment to the Scottsboro/Bells Bend Detailed Design Plan.

Giarratana, the developer for the proposed May Town Center project, has claimed that there was confusion among Planning Commission members when they voted against the land use plan. The plan needed six votes in order to pass and the necessary rezoning was dependent on the land use plan being amended.

Giarratana’s letter requests the Planning Commission not to put the rehearing on the agenda for 60 days “to allow Applicant time to submit a revised plan to the Commission which depicts the reduced scope described…” in previous letters to the Planning Commission.

May Town Center would bring a mixed-use corporate headquarters business park, residential and retail development to the Bells Bend area. It would also bring an agricultural research park for Tennessee State University.

The project would require two bridges across the Cumberland River as well. The proposal has faced strident opposition from Nashville environmentalists, Council members whose districts would be directly impacted, and downtown Council members, who say May Town Center would detract from developing downtown.

Giarratana initially requested a rehearing for July, but withdrew that request.


20 Comments on this post:

By: Equanimity on 8/24/09 at 5:21

Tony, here's what the Planning Commission told you on July 15, 2009, when you asked for a rehearing (a request you later withdrew when you couldn't stack the cards in your favor at the next meeting): "It will be up to the Planning Commission as a whole to determine whether the
information provided in your letter as to any changed conditions or new information not
available to the Commission serves as a cause for rehearing this case."

Now, does this mean that you get to bring a tiny new May Boys Town before the Commission, in a rehearing not open to public comment? Of course not. Of course not.

I suppose there's some likelihood you'll get a "rehearing" but only because this Commission is determined to dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" in what you and the May boys will no doubt use as your foundation for litigation.

But know this: if you stood a prayer of having a favorable rehearing, you've blown it with the notion of bringing a new, "reduced scope" plan before the Commission. You have to go back to square one to do that. And drag a very weary and disgusted public and Commission through that. It ain't gonna happen, slick.

By: Kosh III on 8/25/09 at 6:18


A "reduced scope" just means "let me get my foot in the door, then we will come back for a full-scale devastation....uh...I mean development."

By: WrdBrn on 8/25/09 at 6:53

As I live and breathe; even a scaled down project requires bridges, concerns at Cornelia Fort, environmental and conservation issues. I suppose you can't fault Tony G. for his 'dog on a sock' determination; however turning in to a one note symphony is torturous with an idiot savant overtone! While the concepts of Maytown have merit, it is the wrong project for the wrong part of the Middle Tennessee area . It is an insult to the Commissioners and thereby the citizens for one developer to gobble time and resources like a hungry man at an all you can eat buffet.

By: gid on 8/25/09 at 7:07

I still say NO

By: ChickeringLife on 8/25/09 at 7:48

I hope that MTC does come to fruition!

By: nature on 8/25/09 at 8:10

Why are Nashvillians allowing naive TSU supporters, the May family, and Giarratana bring this up again? Let's stand tall and force these people and their schemes into the Cumberland. Planning Commision, remember you are elected to represent the people of Nashville. Stand up to these people with your concerned citizens and say NO! I will fight this and from what I have seen and read, people have voiced their concerns. The Planning Commission has already said NO! Tony G. and his supporters are playing Nashville as uneducated fools. Lets tell these people NO means NO and boot them out of our town! Who's willing to stand up to these people?

By: nvestnbna on 8/25/09 at 8:36

A couple of corrections. Cornelia Fort will not be affected, they are out by Opryland. Two, I think the Planning Commission is 'appointed' by the Mayor.
Three, Mr. Giarratana lost by 'one' vote last time so there was some support and the possibility of confusion.
Four, Downtown is reserved pretty much for tourist and homeless people, there really is a need for a project like this in Davidson County given the current priorities downtown.
Five, there is already lots of open rarely utilized space(I've walked a fair amount of it) in Bells Bend and that will never change, even with the original proposal. With the proximity to John C. Tune airport, this could be a very appealing campus/environment for corporate relocations - something downtown with its priorities has forsaken.

I've visited the area a few times recently and have viewed it from the air and don't see it diminishing the quality of the area, I see it as a plus for Nashville and Davidson County.

By: Kosh III on 8/25/09 at 8:41


Thanks for joining us Tony.

By: nvestnbna on 8/25/09 at 9:05

Thanks for joining us Tony.

Sorry, no relation. Did used to work on his car back in the early eighties. Not sure if he'd remember me.

By: grapa on 8/25/09 at 9:22

KOSH, I thought you reserved that title for me.
nvestnbna, very good sound FACTS.
TSU Will get their land. They could have been headed in the right direction at the June 24 meeting but commissioiners got confused, changed votes and to have one commissioner sit through all these meetings and not offer an opinion is not showing his respect for the position and to who appointed him to the commission.

WrdBrn, remember about personal attacks. They come by those having no facts or fairytales to weave into the conversation.

By: dogmrb on 8/25/09 at 10:26

Thanks for joining us Tony.

Sorry, no relation. Did used to work on his car back in the early eighties. Not sure if he'd remember me.

Do you work on his airplane now?

By: nvestnbna on 8/25/09 at 11:20

Do you work on his airplane now? -- dogmrb

I guess we need to be silly now -- -- no. And I don't have a financial interest in the project either. I actually have more at stake downtown and contrary to some opinion, I don't think May Town will do any 'more' damage than we're already contemplating downtown.

May Town to me is an opportunity to do a planned development surrounded by open space. Complimenting one another not diminishing. In watching the Tour de France this summer, I'd like to see a village similar to what you'd see along the route of that race. I don't like the sprawl of normal development with houses on every couple of acres. I'd much rather see the compact higher density of this project adjoining open planned community spaces - wish we could develop / design a campus community like this downtown. There will always be folks that are against everything, and that's okay, I suppose, but a thoughtful design of this area to my thinking is better than a lot of the double wide on two unkept acres rural development you see out in that area today.

By: ChickeringLife on 8/25/09 at 11:35

I agree with 'nvestnbna' when he states "May Town to me is an opportunity to do a planned development surrounded by open space. Complimenting one another not diminishing... ". It's really time to give this development a chance. I hope we can ALL work together on supporting May Town.

By: gid on 8/25/09 at 1:31

Chickering; granpa; nvestnbna, etc.

Who will pay for the THREE bridges?
MTC will cost the taxpayers 23m for fire, police, etc a year yet only return just a little over the same amount
Tell me why HQ's will come to Davidson Co over Williamson (and others) schools are worse, etc...
How much of a tax break will be paid to HQ's? Like Dell (no Prop tax for 20 yrs, I think, and $500 per employee hired.

How about forming CSA's there (already happening) and "develop" the Bend like no other place in the USA, a series of farms that are self suppotative.

By: nature on 8/25/09 at 1:41

No means No! This is a shame. These boys know what they are doing. Does anybody remember what the land around Cool Springs used to look like before the owners of the farm sold out. Farm land. Now it's not just a mall, it's urban sprawl. (and I know Nissan is now headquatered there.) It's not just a neighborhood and woods and the Harpeth River. Now it's Mallory Rd. (which used to be called Mallory Station Rd. when it was in the country.) And Cool Springs Blvd. is now filling up. They will have to build another main road for another McDonalds and another Olive Garden. Don't let these people suck you in. They want concrete and asphalt. No means no. Call your councilman. Stand up to these people!

By: ChickeringLife on 8/25/09 at 2:41

We can't just "sit tight" as we are and not accommodate future growth. And May Town is not going to be some commercial office junkyard. We're talking upscale mixed in with green spaces. This is not going to be another "Mallory Lane" layout. I truly believe that the May family and Giarratana do want to try and work with the opponents and meet halfway somewhere. Let's give them chance.

By: MusicCity615 on 8/25/09 at 4:23


Just because people have an opposing opinion does not mean they are working for Giarratana. You sound like a 2 year old. MTC can raise revenue for Davidson County.

By: WrdBrn on 8/25/09 at 6:43

Metro Nashville Airport Authority filed a letter with the Planning Commission citing many concerns and reservations about May Town. It is public information. Also, just because someone can turn a phrase with a bit of flair does not constitute a personal attack.

By: gid on 8/26/09 at 6:29

Mr May only wants to build a 4B statue of himself. If he really wanted to help Nashville why not build a childrens hospital (like Mr. Carrell did at Vandy)

By: nature on 8/26/09 at 4:37

Thanks gid, couldn't say it any better. Maybe Father Strobel would be willing to meet with Mr. Giarratana. Man, just think what just a small fraction of all this money could do for Nashville homeless with new dorms, job training, etc. What about Homeless Animals? Even a smaller amount of money could help Metro with their Animal Control division and the Humane Society could do so much for animals suffering from homelessness and abuse. Just think of the brownie points for the May family and Mr. G? Come on, that could save Metro tax money which could go for other things like sidewalks. Whuzzup with that Mr. May and Mr. Giarratana. Huh?