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What is a Detailed Neighborhood Design Plan?

Detailed Neighborhood Design PlanA Detailed Neighborhood Design Plan, or DNDP, is a future planning document used to refine the Community Plan for an individual neighborhood within a community.

DNDPs are supplements to and parts of community plans. A DNDP takes a closer look at an individual neighborhood.

A DNDP addresses land use, transportation, and community design at the neighborhood level. It provides more specific land use recommendations than the broader community plan. Like community plans, DNDPs are developed through a participatory process that involves Planning Department staff working with the neighborhood - residents, business owners, institutional representatives and developers.

How often are DNDPs updated?

Like the larger community plans that they supplement, DNDPs are updated every seven to ten years. 

How do I know if my neighborhood has a DNDP?

If your community has neighborhoods with DNDPs, they will be included in the Community Plan. Go to the Community Plan page for your community to find out if your neighborhood has a DNDP. 

How are the plans used? 

DNDPs are used in the same ways as the community plans. The community, the Planning Department, the Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council will use the plan as a starting point to discuss public and private investment in the area, including proposed zoning changes, subdivisions, and public facilities (including roads).

How can I make sure the DNDP the neighborhood creates is followed?

For neighborhoods that want their DNDP to have stronger regulatory power, the DNDP is the first step toward developing an Urban Design Overlay (UDO). A UDO is an additional layer of zoning that overlays base zoning. It is used to achieve more specific, higher design standards than the base zoning would allow.

The UDO is the next step from the DNDP, because the DNDP applies land use policy while the UDO changes actual zoning and must be adopted by Metro Council. After a UDO is adopted, any final development construction plans submitted for approval under the UDO must be reviewed to ensure that they follow the developed standards in the UDO.

Read about existing UDOs.

How can I prepare for DNDP meetings?

  1. Take time to think about your neighborhood's existing role in the County and what you want the neighborhood to be like in the future.
  2. Call your neighbors to invite them to a meeting. 
  3. Prepare your ideas, questions, and concerns to be expressed at the meeting. You might think about:
    What areas of your neighborhood should be what specific types of residential, such as single family, townhouses, garden apartments, etc.? Are there places for diverse types of neighbors, such as senior citizens, families, and young folks just starting out to live? What types of things, such as parks, schools, and commercial areas, are within walking distance of most residents?
    Are there areas, streets or corridors that need special attention.
    What are some specific uses or opportunities you would like to have in your community (for example, more shopping? a community center? more parks? more office?)
  4. Write down the ideas, questions, and concerns of others who can't attend a meeting to be sure they are included. 

How can my community group help lead initiatives?

First, community groups help to make sure that residents, business owners, and property owners know about and participate in making the plan. Second, after the plan is established, community groups also serve as frontline organizations in ensuring that the community continues its role as the plan is implemented by keeping track of zone changes, subdivision applications and other development coming to the area.

What is the difference between land use policies and zoning?

Land use policies represent professional planning principles applied to Nashville/Davidson County and residents' vision of how they want the city to grow. Community members help determine an area's land use policy through the DNDP process. After the DNDP is approved by the Metro Planning Commission and the Metro Council, the land use policy it includes becomes the foundation of zoning and subdivision choices. The Land Development and Design Division of the Planning Department refers to the land use policy in the DNDP as they make recommendations to the Metro Planning Commission on whether to approve or disapprove zoning and subdivision decisions.