Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Edgehill Neighborhood Association Loses Battle with Belmont

The Parks Board approved "a partnership" with Belmont University today to allow the school to use Rose Park's athletic fields in exchange for $6 million in upgrades, regardless of reports of a petition from the neighborhood association signed by over 300 residents. Some Edgehill residents are conferring with attorneys to consider legal action. Measure still has to be approved by the Planning Commission and by the Metro Council.


  1. I remember that article in the Scene, but I only skimmed it because I thought it was about 10,000 words longer than it needed to be. I don't remember what the neighbors' beef was with Metro, other than "don't ruin our neighborhood anymore than you have already."

    It's a metro park, isn't it? What am I missing?

  2. I'm trying to understand why people think this is a bad thing. Has anyone seen this park? It's trashed all the time and is in a steady state of dilapidation. I can't imagine that Belmont will be any worse for it than the current caretakers.

  3. It's a public park, but both Vanderbilt and Belmont (along with many universities around the country) have a checkered past of attempting to swallow neighborhoods over the heads of the people who live in those neighborhoods. Fannie Mae Dees Park is a public park and a testament to a woman called the "Dragon Lady" who defied Vanderbilt when it sought to expand into surrounding neighborhoods.

    My take on the Rose Park beef is that Belmont is buying exclusive rights to a public park, which also gives them a leg up should they seek future expansion into the neighborhoods. If the Park is trashed and dilapidated, that is as much a reflection on the Parks Department as it is the neighbors. We pay taxes for the Parks Department to keep Rose Park clean, and they should be doing so. Allowing Belmont to maintain the park gives them a bargaining chip later when they want more: they'll be saying, "See what we do for you? You owe us."

    I don't blame neighbors for not trusting universities.