A controversial proposal to abandon an alley in The Nations neighborhood in west Nashville was deferred indefinitely by the Metro Council last night.
The deferral came at the request of Councilman Buddy Baker, who represents the neighborhood and sponsored the bill. Leading up to Tuesday night’s council meeting, Baker had been criticized by some for showing an inclination to push forward with the ordinance despite the opposition of many constituents.
“After giving some serious consideration and everything, I just decided to defer it indefinitely at this time,” Baker said, declining to say any more.
Many observers had questioned whether the proposal had enough votes to pass the 40-member council.
Previously, Baker had said the abandonment would be a way to rid the neighborhood of an alley that’s become a dumping ground for tires and other debris.
Many neighbors, however, believed the abandonment would have signaled the first step in an overarching plan to bring industrial uses to property zoned for residential. More than 160 people have signed a petition urging Baker to withdraw the bill.
The proposal had addressed an alley that splits land owned by Ron Hunter. On the northern side of the alley is property he owns that is already zoned and used for industrial purposes. On the southern side of the alley are six parcels he owns that are zoned for residential.
Originally, the alley-abandonment bill was proposed alongside another ordinance that sought to change the southern property from residential to industrial. The second bill was later pulled, but opponents feared that the fact it was ever proposed showed the long-term intent.