The zoning bill that divided an East Nashville neighborhood and put Councilwoman Pam Murray under intense scrutiny was withdrawn at Monday’s Metro Council planning and zoning committee meeting.
The bill would have turned a former junkyard building on Cleveland Street into an apartment complex, which neighbors worried would operate as a de facto slum.
Murray supported rezoning the property, even though many neighbors in close proximity to the property were in opposition.
The bill was deferred by Council last month so the those in favor and in opposition could work on a compromise. However, at a community meeting last week, it was clear the neighborhood was still divided.
The property’s owner, Sheridath Blackwood, sent an email to Council members asking for the bill to be withdrawn. Murray obliged at Monday’s committee meeting.
“It is obvious this has gone far beyond a rezoning issue,” Blackwood’s email said. “Councilmember Murray faces the impossible task of trying to represent the people in her district when there are those whose only goal is not what is best for the community, but to humiliate her before her colleagues in the Council.
“She is responding with class and dignity, but we have chosen not to ask her to endure further abuse on our behalf.”
Jamie Hollin, who is president of the Maxwell Heights Neighborhood Association and lives across the street from the property in question, called the withdrawal “a great outcome for our neighborhood and for the city of Nashville.”
Murray found herself in the news throughout the public discussion on the rezoning of the property.
At one point, District 8 Councilwoman Karen Bennett called Metro Police following an altercation with Murray and her supporters after a community meeting.
Then, after a NewsChannel 5 story showed that Murray lived a majority of the time in Detroit, where she works as a social worker, one constituent filed a complaint against her with the state ethics commission.
That complaint said Murray lied on her ethics disclosure forms, because she listed herself as self-employed and not as a social worker at the methadone clinic where she works.