Historic overlay proposed for two high-profile Sylvan Park streets

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 1:39pm

Five years after a push for a historic overlay covering all of Sylvan Park stalled when it evolved into a polarizing neighborhood issue, a more modest proposal affecting the oldest stretches of Park and Elkins avenues is on the table.

The Metro Historic Zoning Commission has scheduled a special meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m. to vote on a proposal introduced by District 24 Metro Councilman Jason Holleman to create a new overlay to protect Park and Elkins properties between 42nd and 51st avenues, an area eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

“I was approached by neighbors along Park and Elkins that felt like they wanted to pursue an overlay district that affected only those streets,” Holleman said. “There’s a high concentration of historic homes, as well as the Cohn school, in that area.”

The district, the oldest in the thriving Sylvan Park neighborhood, is noted for its collection of Victorian-era structures and bungalows of the pre-Depression period. Besides the Cohn Adult High School, other Metro-owned properties include Richland Park Library. Under the proposal, the library could be removed without affecting the historic integrity of the area.

Holleman said the overlay would affect 175 owners of historic properties.

The historic commission’s staff has recommended approval of the overlay –– which, if made law, would provide a set of design guidelines to guide future change in the designated district. The staff has recommended the overlay with or without the inclusion of Richland Park and the library.

The planned overlay is also subject to future votes by the Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council. Holleman said a public hearing before the council is scheduled in July.

An overlay proposed in 2006 to include the entire Sylvan Park area struggled to gain traction, with residents in more recently developed parts of the neighborhood mounting some of the opposition.

An information meeting on the new overlay proposal took place May 25 at the Cohn school.  

5 Comments on this post:

By: bnakat on 6/7/11 at 9:23

If a clear majority of homeowners in the designated area desire this intrusion on how they develop, or retain their properties then so be it. However, Councilman Holleman always has a personal agenda, and is a "my way only" type of attorney. He routinely uses the "I was approached by..." introduction to begin his projects.

Let us hope that this apparent victory does not embolden the councilman to once again follow his mentor, the former councilman, and attack the remainder of Sylvan Park. He is a devious man who can tell the public one narrative, while pursuing a far different course in private.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/8/11 at 5:42

In acting Historic overlays is a necessary tool in preserving the character of Nashville. The preservation of these Park and Elkins will keep only add to the charm of the area and Nashville. I hope it passes.

By: leanright on 6/8/11 at 6:49

bnakat you know not of what you speak. Just wait 'til the developers come to SP and begin builidng apartments that tower over your two story homes..and you can't stop them. The HO prevents that but many of you are so blind you can't see it.
Your remarks about Jason Holleman are way off base.

By: budlight on 6/9/11 at 10:36

Captain Nemo on 6/8/11 at 6:42
In acting Historic overlays is a necessary tool in preserving the character of Nashville. The preservation of these Park and Elkins will keep only add to the charm of the area and Nashville. I hope it passes.

Capt and I rarely, if ever, agree on anything, however, I am in agreement with him on this one (and I don't even own property there). I just can't fathom thtose apartments that "tower over your two story homes . . and you can't stop them". It would be very disgusting to ruin the character of Sylvan Park for profit.

By: haveasay on 6/9/11 at 1:33

bnakat I agree with you, I am in hopes Holleman gets voted out in August, I am tired of his personal agenda. I am going to support Tally, Holleman has done enough of trying to tell the whole city what HE wants using his position to further himself, And by the way, where did Jason find his friend that is trying to get district 20? From BELLEMEADE to Michigan Ave. to help you defeat the 20th district councilman. Holleman is interfering with other district races so he can get everything he wants passed, He and Summers both need Move to Mt. Juliet and mess with their community