The Vanderbilt Bridge Education Association has proposed constructing a new facility at Parthenon Avenue near Centennial Park that its members would share with Metro Parks, but lingering questions from neighbors could stall its approval.
The 6,000-square-foot building, planned for two lots owned by the parks department near the intersection of Oman Street and Parthenon Avenue, would become the new home for the bridge club, while simultaneously functioning as a community center to be used by Nashvillians for neighborhood meetings and similar purposes. The bridge education association ––which is not affiliated with Vanderbilt University –– would pay for its construction and oversee maintenance.
The parks board Tuesday elected to defer the proposal until its next scheduled board meeting, as it waits for a decision from Metro’s Board of Zoning and Appeals, which will consider the facility’s setbacks, use and other considerations at a Jan. 21 meeting. If approved there, the parks board would then consider the plan.
“If it’s something that there is not just not a total negative vote by citizens that live there on Parthenon or near the vicinity, I think the pluses are great for parks because you’re being given something that could be used in a lot of ways,” said parks board chair Stan Fossick.
But like any land use issue, the proposal could ultimately be settled in the Metro Council where, according to the non-written principle of councilmanic courtesy, representatives tend to follow the wishes of the elected representative of the property in question.
In this case, District 21 Councilwoman Edith Langster said some of her constituents have expressed concerns about additional traffic on Long Boulevard created by the new building’s activity, along with the parking situation during tournament nights and the proximity of the facility to an adjacent residence.
“I’m not making a decision yet,” Langster said. “I’m waiting on the decision of the parks board because this is under their direct domain first. And I want to talk to the neighbors again and see if the two sides can’t come closer together.”
Larry Hays of the Vanderbilt Bridge Education Association said the building’s design plan matches the character of the neighborhood and pointed out that parking is situated at the facility’s backside so Parthenon Avenue wouldn’t be the primary entrance. Hays, Langster, parks representatives and neighbors met last month to discuss the project.
“We knew going in that any time you’re going into a residential area that there would be concerns from the neighbors,” Hays said. “The purpose of our meeting was to try to explain what we’re doing and answer any questions they may have.”
The bridge club currently meets in a building at 28th Avenue near Vanderbilt.