Regulations approved to ban all new development in floodways

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 12:30am

Nearly eight months after Nashville’s catastrophic flood, the Metro Council has adopted regulations it hopes limits the construction of future homes in flood-hazardous areas.

The council Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance sponsored by Councilman Darren Jernigan of Old Hickory that bans all future development inside the city’s floodway, a defined area that is most susceptible to flooding.

The bill, which cleared on third and final reading, also requires new construction to meet “no adverse impact” standards. With the bill’s passage, builders will have to demonstrate their developments would not increase surrounding areas’ flood height, water velocity or potential for runoff, among other things.   

Over the summer, Jernigan had proposed a development ban that would have affected the city’s floodplain, which includes a much larger swath of land. It was met with criticism from developers.  

The development community has expressed support for the new law.

In another council item, Nashvillians who drive environmentally friendly vehicles next year will be able to park at downtown city meters for free.

The council approved a bill sponsored by Councilman Jason Holleman that will soon launch a two-year pilot program allowing drivers of clean technology passenger vehicles to park free at any of Metro’s approximately 700 parking meters that are inside the Central Business District.

The new law goes into effect July 2011.

Metro can opt back in or out of the newly opted plan after two years. The impetus behind the measure is to provide another incentive for people to use environmentally friendly vehicles.

Six percent of all Davidson County automobiles — amounting to 35,000 cars — are eligible. 

To take advantage of the plan, Davidson County residents will have to pay an annual $10 processing fee to the Davidson County Clerk’s Office to receive a sticker indicating that their vehicles are authorized to park at no cost. The fee is designed to pay off expenses both the clerk’s office and the Metro Public Works Department accrue to implement the plan.  

8 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 12/22/10 at 7:24

The council surely did the right thing for all concerned on this one.
Now, if it can only be held in place and waivers not granted time
after time by someother authority Nashville will be best served!

By: Kosh III on 12/22/10 at 7:42

A good first step, but the parts of town that are already in the flood plane should be bought out and converted to greenway/parkland to avoid future problems.

By: gid on 12/22/10 at 9:35

The headline is missleading; there is not a 'ban' on development. One can still build. I live in a flood plane / way. The new rules are no different from the guidelines I had to follow when I added the addition years ago

By: girliegirl on 12/22/10 at 10:42

If you really feel this way, then Opryland /Gaylord should be denied the mall site...totally. And the water dept (yes, where your drinking water is refined) should be condemned.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 11:07

That is true gov; however we will need to keep an eye on this bill. A new council will on hand and I bet that the developers will make sure that they have council members sympathetic to their cause. The Flood bill will be watered downed. Pun intended.

I agree with gid, there should be no development in the flood plane.

By: RJP on 12/22/10 at 12:06

rjp The bill said homes, does that include business also. And anywhere you have pavement there is run off. In portland oregon any area, roof top square footage, paved drive ways,sidewalks all is charged a run off fee, they include it on your water \ sewer bill. The story does'nt say if you are in the flood plain aready can you continue development. Can we get a little more reporting on this. thanks city paper

By: gid on 12/22/10 at 12:23

Capt Nemo

I live in the Flood plane (yes, got flooded) and this bill is nothing. I had to follow these standards when i did my addition years ago.

I am for anyone living where ever they choose; this is America isnt it??

By: Kosh III on 12/22/10 at 1:09


Yes, now that the mall is gone, it should stay gone. (a new theme park is ok LOL) The water company should move eventually as well to get off the plane.
Common sense would tell you that but greed overrules that doesn't it.
Land in the plane should be either parks or cropland like it used to be. Shelby Bottoms flooded several feet deep, no harm.