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Monday, November 21, 2016

NEW Sidewalk Legislation - a Summary!!!

Wanted to get this out there ASAP...

Sidewalk Legislation Summary, BL 2016-493
With questions or suggestions, please contact the bill’s lead sponsor Councilwoman Angie Henderson at or 615-260-5530

This is a zoning code text amendment for Chapters 17.04, 17.20 and 17.40 pertaining to sidewalks.
This proposed amendment to the Code will support access to and use of Nashville’s transit system and close the loophole wherein single- and two-family infill development on major and collector streets and on neighborhood streets near to centers is not required to install sidewalk infrastructure.  The legislation will also reduce instances where in lieu contribution may be applied and requires more physical construction of sidewalks throughout the city as development occurs.
Timeline (subject to change):
  • Bill introduced on first reading at November 15, 2016, Council meeting.
  • Planning Commission staff report published on January 6, 2016.
  • Planning Commission Public Hearing on January 12, 2016.
  • Council Public Hearing on February 7, 2017.
  • Planning & Zoning Comt. review and third reading at Council on Feb. 21, 2017.

What the Legislation Does
  • Requires that sidewalks be provided for:
    • Multi-family or nonresidential development when property is: 
      • within Urban Services District (USD)
      • on a street in the Major and Collector Street Plan (MCSP) and/or
      • within 1/4 mile of a “center” designated in the General Plan
        • This expands sidewalk installation for multifamily and nonresidential uses and removes triggers such as percentage of expansion, percentage of value of expansion, and references to a sidewalk priority index. 

  • One or two-family residential development when property is:
    • within the Urban Zoning Overlay (UZO).
    • on a street within the MCSP in the Urban Services District and/or
    • within a 1/4 mile of a ”center” designated in the General Plan
      • Currently, sidewalks are not required for single-family/two-family units for tear down/rebuilds.
      • This legislation proposes to bring additional, improved infrastructure to more suburban areas outside of the downtown core and closes a loophole wherein no infrastructure improvements are typically required for infill single and two-family construction.

  • Increases instances where sidewalks must be built including (in lieu of fee not applicable):
    • replacement or repair of existing sidewalk
    • extension of sidewalk proposed for adjacent development
    • when existing sidewalks are present on the same block face
    • within the UZO
    • along a street in the MCSP

  • Reduces instances in which in lieu payment is an option
    • Under current code provisions, in lieu contribution is allowed unless there is an existing sidewalk network adjacent to site or on same block face.

Other items addressed by this proposed legislation include:

  • Clarifies that the in lieu contribution is in lieu of construction only, therefore required right-of-way must be dedicated with the issuance of the building permit.
  • Adds a requirement that if one seeks a variance from sidewalk improvements from the Board of Zoning Appeals, Metro Planning must make a recommendation on whether the variance is justified or whether there are potential alternative designs that could result in installation of public sidewalk benefitting community.
  • Obstructions are prohibited within the required sidewalks, but may be located within a grass strip or frontage zone. Existing obstructions shall be relocated.

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