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Metro Planning Department

About the Planning Department

Planning Department logo

The Planning Department's responsibilities include working with local communities to create appropriate land-use policies and community plans, making recommendations to the Planning Commission on zoning decisions, and providing design services while supporting more sustainable development.

The Planning Department is located at 800 Second Avenue South in downtown Nashville, one block north of the 2nd/4th Avenue exit off I-40.

"It's been a fun ride..."photo of Jim McLean and Rick Bernhardt

After 22 years of service with Metro Planning, including 15 as Director, Executive Director Rick Bernhardt retired on June 26.

Video of his parting comments at the June 25 Planning Commission meeting

NashvilleNext final version is on the wayNashvilleNext logo

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the NashvilleNext long-range plan on June 22, including several amendments - those amendments are currently being added to the draft NashvilleNext document, and the plan as approved by the Commission will be posted here soon.

Details and the draft NashvilleNext plan are online at

Map defines Music Row actionMap of Music Row area

The Metropolitan Planning Commission voted Feb. 12 to recommend deferral or disapproval of any rezoning request on Music Row for the next 12-18 months, to allow time for development of a design plan for that community.

That action applies to lots fronting on 16th or 17th Avenues between the Demonbreun Street roundabout and Wedgewood Avenue.

Map of the area affected by the Commission's decision

The design plan would include input from all interested parties, including property owners, developers, residents, the music industry and all interested in the future of the area. Development of that plan would begin in June, after the NashvilleNext process is complete.

The Planning Commission calls upon the Metropolitan Council to support this initiative, and upon the community to actively engage in the process of setting a vision for Music Row.

The current intense and unprecedented demand for development throughout the city and Music Row in particular raise the real possibility that Music Row’s iconic role and importance will be completely lost, and the Planning Commission, based on work done during NashvilleNext, has determined that now is the time to create a plan which will address those issues and support Music Row’s unique and invaluable character.

Amendment to 2015 filing schedule

No new applications for community plan amendments will be accepted by the Planning Department until after the adoption of NashvilleNext, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in June 2015. This is not a moratorium on zone changes, subdivisions, PUDs, UDOs, or SPs. Applications for such changes will still be accepted and processed. Only amendments to the community plans (changes to the land use policy) will not be accepted.

During this period, Planning staff will evaluate zone change applications to see if they comply with the current, adopted Community Plan OR if the zone change application complies with the proposed land use policies - the policies that are proposed to be updated with NashvilleNext. If the proposed zone change complies with EITHER the existing, adopted land use policies or with the proposed policies, then Planning staff may recommend approval to the Planning Commission.

If the proposed zone change does not comply with the existing, adopted land use policy or the land use policy recommended in NashvilleNext, then the Planning Commission may consider whether to direct staff to change the land use policy in the draft NashvilleNext document.

Why temporarily halt applications for amendments to the Community Plans?

Planning Department staff are currently leading the NashvilleNext planning process - creating a plan for Nashville's growth, development, and preservation for the coming 25 years. Community Plan amendments require substantial staff time for review and community input. Temporarily halting applications for amendments to Community Plans allows Planning staff to focus on NashvilleNext.

Also, the NashvilleNext plan will include updated Community Plans with updated land use policies. Planning will create a "static draft" of these updated land use policies for the community - property owners, business owners, developers - to comment on. By halting applications for amendments to the Community Plans, Planning staff can create a static draft - no ongoing changes - that the entire community can respond to.

Will the fact that I can't file my amendment to the community plan slow down my zone change application?

No. Zone change applications can still be filed on the regular filing schedule and will still be reviewed per the existing Metro departmental review.

Mayor's Workplace Challenge

The Planning Department achieved gold, silver, and gold status in the three categories of the 2014 Mayor's Workplace Challenge, a citywide public and private initiative supporting active and healthy environments, green operations and buildings, and volunteer service inside and outside the workplace.

Mayor's Workplace Challenge logos