Nearly eight months after Nashville’s catastrophic flood, the Metro Council has adopted regulations it hopes limits the construction of future homes in flood-hazardous areas.
The council Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance sponsored by Councilman Darren Jernigan of Old Hickory that bans all future development inside the city’s floodway, a defined area that is most susceptible to flooding.
The bill, which cleared on third and final reading, also requires new construction to meet “no adverse impact” standards. With the bill’s passage, builders will have to demonstrate their developments would not increase surrounding areas’ flood height, water velocity or potential for runoff, among other things.
Over the summer, Jernigan had proposed a development ban that would have affected the city’s floodplain, which includes a much larger swath of land. It was met with criticism from developers.
The development community has expressed support for the new law.
In another council item, Nashvillians who drive environmentally friendly vehicles next year will be able to park at downtown city meters for free.
The council approved a bill sponsored by Councilman Jason Holleman that will soon launch a two-year pilot program allowing drivers of clean technology passenger vehicles to park free at any of Metro’s approximately 700 parking meters that are inside the Central Business District.
The new law goes into effect July 2011.
Metro can opt back in or out of the newly opted plan after two years. The impetus behind the measure is to provide another incentive for people to use environmentally friendly vehicles.
Six percent of all Davidson County automobiles — amounting to 35,000 cars — are eligible.
To take advantage of the plan, Davidson County residents will have to pay an annual $10 processing fee to the Davidson County Clerk’s Office to receive a sticker indicating that their vehicles are authorized to park at no cost. The fee is designed to pay off expenses both the clerk’s office and the Metro Public Works Department accrue to implement the plan.