Update: Email explains confusion about Gallatin Pike meeting

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 8:48pm

Update 11 a.m.: A Metro email may explain why many East Nashville residents thought they were in for a discussion on the Gallatin Pike Specific Plan.

An email sent by Billy Fields of the mayor’s office on Sept. 22 reads “Metropolitan Council representatives Jamie Hollin, Mike Jameson, Erik Cole and Karen Bennett want to meet to discuss ‘SP’ zoning on Gallatin Road prior to the next Metropolitan Council meeting.”

More than 150 people attended the East Nashville caucus meeting last night. Most seemed ready to have a large discussion about the pros and cons of SP zoning guidelines.

The meeting instead turned into a discussion about an amendment that addresses only a limited portion of the East Nashville corridor.


A standing-room-only crowd filled the Metro police East Precinct Thursday night to weigh in on the suddenly controversial set of zoning guidelines known as the Gallatin Pike Specific Plan.

But that debate never happened.

Instead, the audience discussed an amendment to rezone only a limited stretch of the Gallatin Pike corridor near Cahal Avenue from mixed housing to mixed use –– that, and a separate bill that would create a special exemption for a “doggie daycare.”

Passed in 2007 after a series of community meetings, the Gallatin Pike SP requires future development along the road to abide by new landscaping, signage, and street setback standards, while limiting future uses.

Metro Councilman Jamie Hollin, who represents parts of East Nashville, has called the guidelines a hindrance to future growth and a nuisance for developers to navigate. Hollin has filed a bill that would exempt his council district from the SP’s guidelines.

At first, it appeared like the Gallatin Pike SP would drive the discussion. Hollin started off the meeting with an impassioned appeal on why he isn’t against specific plans on principle, but is only against this particular set of guidelines because he believes it’s not consistent with the market demand of the area.

But Councilman Mike Jameson, who also represents East Nashville but supports the Gallatin Pike SP, spoke next and stopped Hollin in his tracks.

Citing an email from Hollin, Jameson said the original purpose of the meeting was to discuss only the amendment and the doggie-daycare exemption.

“I’m going to gather, based on the pre-printed signs with the SP and the slash-mark drawn up ... that you got a notice somewhat to the contrary,” Jameson told the crowd before going through an equally impassioned appeal on how the Gallatin Pike SP has not thwarted development.

“If you want to have a debate about the merits of the SP, let me bring my people, too,” Jameson concluded.

The crowd eventually got back on agenda.

9 Comments on this post:

By: jonescry on 9/30/10 at 7:31


By: jonescry on 9/30/10 at 7:45

I'm not a fan of the GPSP but your article is ridiculously incorrect. First the main purpose of this meeting was to discuss changes to the SP - that is what residents were told and that WAS the purpose of the meeting. Councilman Hollin tried to make it into something that the East Nashville Caucus did not intend. As for Councilman Hollin's "impassioned appeal" - well I was there and you could see him shaking even in the back of the room. That was nerves, sir, not passion. Unfortunately, Councilman Hollin moved to the poorest part of East Nashville in 2007 simply to "represent" those that largely do not vote and couldn't name their councilman if they tried. He doesn't care about the needs of his constituents; he's simply using them. It's the oldest trick in the political book but it is sad for those in that part of East Nashville. Once his term is up - he will move back to Brentwood or whereever and probably make a stab at the mayor's office some day. I hope his nerve improves - I hate to see a grown man shake like a leaf in front of people. It's kind of nauseating.

By: WestofEast on 9/30/10 at 9:53

First off Councilman Hollin shakes most of the time, thats a normal thing, not nerves. Second, he managed to oust a 2-term council person through exceptional leadership, motivating a community that "largely does not vote" to get out to the polls. Third, he has spent an insane amount of time getting to know his constituents, the new ones as well as the long term ones. I doubt you could find a city council person who has spent more time going door to door and getting to know people you probably wouldn't stoop to talk to. Come over here and spend some time trying to fix the jacked up situation that is a poor neighborhood, and see if it's really worth that much time and effort to "use" people.

By: jonescry on 10/1/10 at 6:31

Shaking most of the time is not normal unless you have a disease which I'm sure he doesn't have. He was nervous and well he should have been. He was doing something quite odious and overtly political. I was sitting next to 3 of his constituents who have only seen their councilman on T.V. and meetings that they attend so I'm not sure where your impression comes from. I met them at the meeting so your "stoop to talk to" is crazy as you have no idea who I am and reveals much more about your prejudices then mine. Regardless, Hollin needs to appreciate that his district is the smallest in East Nashville and that it is made up of more than the Gallatin Pike District owners - many of whom do not even live in E. Nashville. He most certainly is not speaking for the vast majority of E. Nashvillians who live outside of his district like me and he needs to understand that and stop presenting himself as the voice of E. Nashville or Gallatin Pike for that matter - his district doesn't even make up the majority of this area as well.

By: Lischey_Ave on 10/1/10 at 6:44

Future meetings should require an agenda for which council people and their constituents can stick to, regardless of where they stand on the issues. I too felt the meeting was an overall misuse of my time, whatever the intention, though I'm exceedingly happy former council lady Murray didn't add her two cents.

By: girliegirl on 10/1/10 at 6:50

Um...not to state the "oh-so-frickin'-obvious" but Council is limited to TWO terms....so no one has "ousted" anyone in this story. :-)

Secondly, according to a well known civil engineer and "zoning Czar" here, there are exceptions to the SP rules: you can move your business (in the same district) w/o necessarily having to adhere (strictly) to the SP zoning rules. (thus saving you $$$)

As for his "shaking" (as if anyone really gives a rats booty) maybe it was low blood sugar. (hey, just sayin')

I'm more impressed, if not stunned right out of my shoes, that there is "market demand of the area." LMBO Kudos to Hollin for at least trying to help anyone survive this nasty/pathetic economy!

By: richgoose on 10/1/10 at 7:53

If you are going to have a neighborhood meeting in East Nashville regarding Gallatin Road it would seem more natural if doobies were allowed during the preceedings.

By: trtay2004 on 10/1/10 at 8:05

Jonescry - Jamie Hollin has been the best thing to happen to our East Nashville district. He has worked tirelessly to better the area. He is very involved in a lot of actions including personally working on houses, streets, crime, etc.

Richgoose - stay in your rich area if you want. You should be ashamed to discriminate an area with your arrogance. This area has been dumped on by the city and now the residence work hard to overcome the steroetypes of pricks like you.

Girliegirl - Hollin did 'oust' Murray, so try to know a little bit before speaking. He collected a petition to overthrow her because of inaction. Enough signatures were collected and a special election was held and she was 'ousted'.

By: courier37027 on 10/1/10 at 9:15

trtray, overcoming stereos huh? How many Discount Tobacco and check cashing businesses are established along Gallatin Road?