District 20 Metro Councilman Buddy Baker, who was viewed by many as a likely supporter of the May Town Center proposal for rural Bells Bend, now opposes the development because a required second bridge would impact his West Nashville district.
Baker sent a letter to constituents last week explaining his opposition. Metro Planning has issued a staff report supporting the proposal to bring a mixed-use business park, residential, retail development to the rural fields of Bells Bend. But the recommendations were tagged with 17 contingencies, including the newly announced need for a second bridge.
Quoting Metro Public Works, Baker said the second bridge would be required at Old Cleese’s Factory location.
“Therefore I am opposing the [May Town Center development],” Baker said in his letter. “I hope that this will meet with everyone’s approval. I would like to see the development take place, however I cannot support a bridge coming into a residential neighborhood. It would require the taking of several homes and I will fight against that.”
Baker’s new opposition comes on the heels of District 1 Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr. announcing he supports May Town Center. Matthews, whose district includes the Bend, announced his support when the issue came back in front of the Planning Commission for a public hearing last month.
The public hearing will be continued June 25 so commissioners can hear more comments related to the recently released economic impact study. The hearing will likely be continued for June 30 and the commissioners would vote on the proposal at that time.
Baker’s opposition because of the traffic and bridge requirements aligns with fellow West Nashville Councilmembers Jason Holleman and Emily Evans, both of whom also oppose May Town Center for the same reasons.