A month after Nashville’s historic flood washed away most of a homeless encampment along the Cumberland River known colloquially as Tent City, a Metro department is saying a temporary site being used by some former residents has to shut down within a month.
Terry Cobb, director of the Metro Department of Codes and Building Safety, told The City Paper early Tuesday that his office issued a notice to the landowner who donated the property saying the people living there have to vacate by July 5. The land is not zoned for such a use, Cobb said, and there is no process for gaining temporary approval to house the displaced homeless people.
“We'll allow a reasonable period of time to comply with the notice,” Cobb said. “In this case, we would assume that they will cooperate and do what we've asked them to do.” He said he had not spoken with anyone affiliated with the group as of early Tuesday afternoon.
The two-acre site, in the Hickory Hollow area, has become a temporary home to about 24 homeless people, all of whom have literally pitched their tents on the tract. Area businessman Lee Beaman donated the land via the Otter Creek Church of Christ, which has been working with displaced Tent City residents since the flood.
But neighbors in Hickory Hollow were upset by the development, and state Rep. Sherry Jones, whose district also includes Antioch, said they’d been trying to get the new Tent City banished from the neighborhood.
“I had no idea that they were trying to set up, that they were taking folks with the intention of putting them back outside in a tent city,” Jones said, adding that she hoped the homeless would be moved into more traditional subsidized housing arrangements.