Surprise: West Nashville Councilman against May Town

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 10:55am

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.

4 Comments on this post:

By: seanche on 6/17/09 at 9:25

Has anyone ever been to the Brooklyn Bridge? They have lanes for cars and trucks, bicycles and foot traffic all in one bridge, how novel. Come on Buddy, those of us who own property in the Nations, property that will increase in value, property in your District, think you ought to get a little creative and help your District grow and prosper. Your decision to inhibit progress makes me wonder if we made the right decision by electing you to represent our interests. Sean

By: PromosFriend on 6/17/09 at 11:28

Where are the plans that show that the proposed bridge will be anything other than a "cookie cutter" auto mover? Perhaps if there were a solid commitment/design plan to include such amenities as you tout then opposition might swing to support. I think Mr. Baker's opposition is the correct stance to take until such questions are addressed.

By: ChickeringLife on 6/17/09 at 1:47

That would be nice to have a bridge that accomodates ALL vehicular, bike, and pedestrian traffic. Maybe the bridge could connect at another (non-residential) site, who knows. Hopefully, all options will be thoughtfully evaluated/researched so that both sides are satisfied. -MR

By: frank brown on 6/17/09 at 4:48

I thank you Mr. Baker. We must keep the nations as a showcase for the lower middle class. I delivered newspapers there in 1952 and 1953. There has been much progress since then. Part of Louisiana avenue was unpaved in 1952. It now has been paved to completion. West Park has been built where there were cows grazing. St.Luke Community Center which at one time had the smallest basketball gym in the United States and the most shooter friendly has been upscaled. It may now be the the nicest building in the entire Nation.