Councilwoman trying to limit parties at John Rich's house?

Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 12:01pm

Two recently filed Metro Council ordinances appear to be attempts to limit the parties and crowds at famed country singer John Rich’s mansion on Love Circle.

But Councilwoman Kristine LaLonde, sponsor of the bills and representative of the area, said the ordinances are attempts to improve the quality of life of the neighborhood and aren’t targeted at a specific property owner.

One of the ordinances would prohibit any bus or recreational vehicle in excess of 24 feet from operating or parking on Love Circle, the winding road off West End near Vanderbilt University where the towering, 73-foot-tall home known as "Villa Rich" was recently built. The law wouldn’t apply to school buses, and it wouldn’t affect any street other than Love Circle.

“We have been working for a year, since I took office, to just generally improve the situation on Love Circle,” LaLonde said. “It’s a very difficult circle in terms of traffic. It switches around, and it’s very narrow, so this is part of those improvements.”

Anecdotally, some neighbors have expressed frustration over the influx of large tour buses that followed Rich’s arrival to the neighborhood. Sometimes the vehicles block the street for extended periods of time.

Asked if her bill is a response to Rich’s residence, LaLonde said, “No,” adding, “Anytime there’s a bigger vehicle up there, it makes it very difficult for the residents to maneuver.”

The other bill would limit to two the number of special-event road-closure permits granted to the same person or business each year. It would also allow no more than two closures on the same individual street each year. The bill is not specific to one street and would apply to only residential neighborhoods throughout Davidson County. Schools applying for road closures would be exempt from the law.

Again, some neighbors have grumbled about parties, political fundraisers and other special events held at Rich’s house, some which may have taken place after a permit was granted to allow the street to be temporarily shut down. 

“We just want to make sure that this isn’t an open-ended process, that people have to maintain a kind of neighborliness about road closures,” LaLonde said. “If you want to have a street party, if you want to have a party that requires you to close down a road, that’s great. But two seems right to us.”

Both bills, co-sponsored by At-large Councilman Ronnie Steine, are scheduled to go before the council on first reading on July 6. LaLonde said it’s possible one or both of the ordinances could be amended.

Though LaLonde challenges the notion that the bills are targeted at a specific residence, Rich has squared off against the council in the past.

During construction of his Love Circle house, some council members fought to reduce the height of the structure, even though the house was designed in accordance with Metro codes. At the time, city law restricted the number of stories that could be built, without addressing height.

A new law, sponsored by then-At-large Councilman David Briley, was later passed that prevented three-story houses from being taller than 45 feet. 

9 Comments on this post:

By: 117_acres on 7/1/10 at 10:46

During the planning and zoning commission meetings, I thought the City was just giving John Rich a hard time regarding the construction of his home on Love Circle. However, now I understand why so many neighbors did not want this home built. If one is going to live in an urban area where your neighbors are only going to be feet away instead of acres away like in a ruraler area one should be more respectful of thy neighbor. It would be unreasonable for Rich to regularly disrupt the neighborhood. It seems like Rich is just showing people that he really is just a "Jerk".

By: house_of_pain on 7/1/10 at 11:07

I would never put up with that type of behavior from my neighbors.
Rich is a total douchebag.

By: localboy on 7/1/10 at 11:41

"The law wouldn’t apply to school buses, and it wouldn’t affect any street other than Love Circle." Geez, and people complain about how tough it is to navigate through the bureaucracy - now they're trying to pass laws street-by-street. Unless it applies to all, defeat this motion.

By: idgaf on 7/2/10 at 1:16

Who is this lady and the democrap shoplifter trying to kid it isn't aimed at the conservative?

If there is parking violations call the cops and they will gladly issue tickets to help them meet their quota.

By: roadie on 7/2/10 at 6:40

Shades of Webb Pierce without the guitar-shaped pool. HA!

By: MeretriciousCreation on 7/2/10 at 7:43

I think this MUCH less about his politics and much more about him being a myopic, self-centered jackass. I'm sure you can empathize with him on that idgaf.
However I have to agree that saying this isn't about him (at least the vehicle ordinance) is pretty flimsy. As far as calling the cops go, giving him a ticket is meaningless when you are more or less trapped at your house because you can't get around his bus. Never mind the fact that I can all but guarantee he isn't above playing the "Do you know who I am?" card and it would likely work.

By: Magnum on 7/2/10 at 3:06

Simple. Yes this is about him. And yes, he is a jackass. Is there anyone out there that does actually still like this guy other than those in his inner circle feeding off his cash, booze and women? Of course, like he cares what people think. He is way to big of a narcissist to care.

By: dogmrb on 7/5/10 at 9:00

It's a compound with gates embellished with Mount Richmore. If you've ever driven the street, I don't think school buses go up the incline and this residential neighborhood was quite peaceful until he built this monstronsity. I do blame the Metro City Council and codes. Wonder who owned the initial property sold to him? I applaud Councill Member LaLonde for trying to preserve the residential fabric of the neighborhood. "Big" has a castle over on Golf Club lane but it is certainly more tastefully done and in keeping with the other "estates" over there.

By: free thinker on 7/5/10 at 5:48

Guess John Rich bought the wrong politicians first time around. Now the area has someone with guts; way to go councilperson! The neighbors should ban together and have a talk with him. The message, straighten up or get out! Then campaign by calling police for every violation they can find, sooner or later, he gets the message and keep the heat on the council.