William Dean Hinton's story in this week's Nashville Scene on the controversy around zoning protection in Sylvan Park paints a fairly unattractive picture of the embroiled principals.
On the one hand, Council member John Summers (who supports the zoning overlay along with at least 116 voting members of the association) is portrayed as a bully who used neighborhood association by-laws to defeat opponents. On the other hand, zoning overlay opponents apparently started attending neighborhood association meetings merely to disrupt the process and then 116 opponents became new dues-paying members just before Monday night's vote.
Lost in the haze between Summer's cheeky disrespect and his opponents' cynical, single-issue obsession is the pressing matter of what would be best for the Sylvan Park neighborhood. And I would sure as hell not want to be a member of that association right now; they have got one big royal mess beyond the zoning issue to purge. In the wake of the seemingly noxious discontent, they have to find some trust and common purpose.