Marc Hill, chief policy officer at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday told Joey Garrison the organization has withdrawn its support for a set of controversial land use state bills that would widen protections for landowners. The move comes after the chambers of Memphis and Chattanooga backed away from the proposals — which are being championed by former Councilman Jim Gotto — last week.
“The legislative environment is a dynamic one,” Hill said when asked to explain the new stance. “There’s constant changes — not only every day but every hour. The important thing is to address the problems that businesses face. You can do that in a variety of ways.”
A big battle is brewing over three State House bills pitting backers of property rights against those looking to ensure the state doesn't stick its nose too deeply into municipal government. State Sen. Jim Gotto is sponsoring three pieces of legislation he says will restore some balance into development regulations by expanding various grandfather zoning protections. But some lawmakers and Mayor Karl Dean want nothing to do with the bills. Joey Garrison has the story.
“It basically guts out any existing overlay,” Councilman Phil Claiborne, who serves on the Metro Planning Commission, said of the state proposals, adding that provisions for these corridors “won’t be worth the paper they are written on.”
“The impact of these bills effectively makes it impossible for the [Metro] planning commission to move forward to work with communities to develop community plans that call for planned change to evolve,” Claiborne said.