A poll released by May Town Center developer Tony Giarratana claims “wide public support for May Town Center rezoning,” one day before the Planning Commission will decide whether to reconsider the issue.
Giarratana’s poll was conducted by University of Alabama Birmingham communications studies professor Larry Powell.
According to the poll results, 50 percent are in favor of May Town Center, while 40 percent are opposed and 10 percent are unsure. According to a press release, Giarratana’s poll was conducted by calling 400 Davidson County voters at random.
May Town Center opponent and former Metro Councilman David Briley questioned the timing of Giarratana’s release and called the study a “push poll.”
“If you put misinformation for people in a poll about the circumstances, then they’re likely to come up with an answer that suits your need,” Briley said, adding that the poll questions presumed May Town Center would be an economic and job-creation success. “Virtually every word has been refuted by unbiased fact.”
Another poll question asked voters if Nashville should focus on economic development or preserving open spaces. According to the results, 61 percent said economic development and 24 percent said preserving open spaces, while 15 percent said they were unsure.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Giarratana said. “The plan we have developed for May Town Center reflects the best of both worlds. Those who cast this as a choice between development and land preservation are creating a false choice. We have created a plan that provides for environmentally sensitive development and preservation of 900 acres of green space and open land as well as meaningful economic development and job creation into the future.”
The poll results released by Giarratana come one day before the Planning Commission presumably will decide whether to consider May Town Center rezoning yet again.
“I think they’re desperate to figure out a way to move forward,” Briley said.
The MTC proposal first came before the commission a year ago and was deferred so more questions pertaining to infrastructure and density could be answered.
When it came before the Planning Commission again last month, it failed by a single vote, because commissioners were split on amending the Bells Bend/Scottsboro land use plan. The new plan required six votes, but only received five.
Giarratana sent a letter to Planning requesting the land use plan be reconsidered, claiming there was procedural confusion the night of the commission vote.
The Planning Commission would decide on Thursday whether to reconsider the motion at a later meeting.