Just tuned into the Metro Planning Commission debate on the Planning Department's alternate proposal for development of Scottsboro/Bells Bend that would open the door to May Town Center. Reading from prepared remarks, Commissioner Hunter Gee said that he would vote against the Planning recommendation, and he asked that if the Commission deferred, it should commission independent impact studies to be performed. The Planning Department should have already commissioned these studies. Planner told Commissioner Victor Tyler that impact studies are conducted once the May Town Center developers submit their proposals rather than conducting them during the "larger policy discussions" of Planning's alternate proposal. To me that's the cart-before-the-horse approach.
UPDATE: Commissioner Tyler says he likes the plan, but he thinks it needs more discussion.
UPDATE: Commissioner Stewart Clifton says that the May Town Center developers are asking for a deferral on today's Commission vote.
UPDATE: CM Jim Gotto says that he does not want any Davidson Co. taxpayers to bear any risk for the development. He says that it is a good idea to take more time. Says he doesn't agree with the charge that the developer took over the process. Wants an indefinite deferral and rejects CM Lonell Matthew's call for a year deferral.
UPDATE: Commissioner Phil Ponder calls for adoption of the neighborhood plan (supported by the neighborhood) and for an indefinite deferral on Planning's alternative. Says that there is no I-65 to help May Town Center out like there is with Cool Springs.
UPDATE: Commissioner Judy Cummings disagrees with the claim that Bells Bend is the only development-worthy area. She feels there are other areas that could be redeveloped that would provide places that businesses would want to relocate to. Believes that May Town Center would attract people away from Downtown. She is concerned about the environmental impact. She criticized Metro Planning's unrealistic support of urban development without plans to widen Old Hickory. Supports the neighborhood's plan with an indefinite deferral of Planning's alternative.
UPDATE: Commissioner Tonya Jones calls the alternative "half-baked."
UPDATE: Commissioner Derrick Dalton is not convinced that the alternative plan won't take away from Downtown. No MTC proponents have convinced him otherwise.
UPDATE: Commissioner Andree LeQuire wants to know what its going to cost if the MTC idea does not fly. She moves that the neighborhood plan be adopted and the alternative be deferred indefinitely.