Saturday, November 17, 2007

Germantown Breakfast

This morning Historic Germantown was kind enough to include me in one of their breakfast meetings to honor its volunteers and to discuss their streetscape plans. Here are several things I learned:
  • The historic fire station on 4th Avenue in Germantown has been bought by the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, and it will be their new home. Germantown's association had hoped to purchase the station for its own meeting space, but they ended up referring NNA.
  • The November 13 Community Meeting hosted by Erica Gilmore to discuss Germantown's Historic Overlay was standing room only. While there were a few opponents of the overlay there, the overwhelming majority supported the proposal. Major opponents, developers Andre LeQuire (Germantown Partners) and Skip Lawrence (Lawrence Brothers) were out of town. I listened to concerns expressed that Council Member Gilmore should have deferred the overlay proposal for a definite number of meetings rather than indefinitely, which can often signify a death sentence for bills. Besides last Tuesday's meeting, Ms. Gilmore had attended 3 of 5 community meetings in the past year. The relatively uncontroversial bill looks headed for the Planning Commission next.
  • Historic Germantown is working with Friends of the Nashville Farmers Market to co-ordinate future events at the Market.
  • Germantown is working with Metro School Board Member George Thompson on consolidating their neighborhood into one cluster. Currently, families south of Monroe St. send their children to Eakin Elementary (Hillsboro cluster) and families north of Monroe St. send their children to Brookmeade (Hillwood cluster).
  • Some Germantown Streetscape plans have met with resistance in Metro Public Works. Historic Germantown wants to replace street surface at the curbs where people park with a pervious surface for improved water run-off and soil saturation. Public Works reportedly wants them to heat stamp the existing impervious surface with decorative features rather than replacing parking surfaces altogether. A major element in the street scape plans includes planting new indigenous and heat-resistant trees along all of their thoroughfares. They also seem to be getting some foot-dragging from TDOT with plans to line the median on Rosa Parks Boulevard (formerly 8th Avenue) with trees.
  • That there is an interest in coordinating work with Hope Gardens and Salemtown neighborhood associations on projects of mutual interest.

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