Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Suburban Bias Realized in LED Proposal

I have consistently argued that the constituency and focus of the Metro Council LED Task Force is overwhelmingly suburban to the detriment of urban neighborhoods.  And it looks like a primary component of the new proposal brought before the Task Force last night is strictly suburban.  The new legislation would allow LEDs in residential neighborhood as long as they are 150 feet from the closest residential property line.  That may work fine in Brentwood, where density is low, setback is toward the rear of lots, and properties have more acreage, but 150 feet in urban neighborhoods might be right on top of a residence.  Urban residents live in high density groupings with our dwellings either adjoining the front sidewalks or sitting close to the front of the property.  In Salemtown few properties are over 50 feet in width.  So, a brightly lit LED sign would negatively affect more neighbors more closely than one in a suburban neighborhood.

This proposal is exactly what I feared:  it's modeled more for the kind of community CM Charlie Tygard's Bellevue constituents live in and less for one like the one I live in (keep in mind that as an at-Large CM, Tygard is supposed to be my representative, too).  Given this group's leanings toward suburbia, I fear that they won't consider the conditions of urban neighborhoods and will commend this flawed bill to Metro Council accordingly, even though one size does not fit all.


  1. Give it time. Ultimately, suburbanites who commute into the city by car will suffer the fate that everyone knows is coming, and yet refuse to acknowledge.

    Cities are centers for employment. When oil was $147 per barrel, and gasoline was scarce, which jurisdictions / populations had the ultimate form of leverage over transportation policy and planning?

    The answer: urban communities populated by urbanites.

    We witnessed the death of suburban sprawl this summer with the collapse of the homebuilding industry and the wake-up call regarding the role that gasoline prices play in our day to day lives.

    Give it time!

    How about a post or two on the housing market? - e.g. prices, supply, and days on the market in Brentwood, Williamson County, and the greater Nashville area in general?

  2. Whoops! I only needed to scroll down to get information on the Nashville real estate market.

  3. As one of those surburbanites that you refer to, who cannot afford a home closer to the city - what I do have is quiet and a dark, night sky. The LED sign proposal is just as offensive and frightening to us as it is to you lucky folks that don't have the big commute. Let's not divide our citizens by location - all homeowners have the same interest of peaceful enjoyment wherever we are.