An ordinance to amend various sections of Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, the Zoning Ordinance of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, relative to encouraging adaptive reuse of commercial areas within the Urban Services District along arterial and collector streets shown on the Major Street Plan, all of which is more particularly described herein (Proposal No. 2003Z-002T).

WHEREAS, there are existing, vacant non-residential buildings and underutilized properties along arterials and collector roadways within the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County as shown on the Major Street Plan;

WHEREAS, residential uses would benefit existing, marginally viable commercial and retail areas by fostering pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods due to daily services, amenities, and shops being located within walking distance, if not within the same building as one lives thereby reducing traffic on local roads and interstates and in turn, improving the regional air quality by providing residential densities along major transit commercial corridors; and,

WHEREAS, encouraging residential development where growth can be easily accommodated due to the long-term capital investment by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in services and infrastructure will help to preserve Nashville’s single-family neighborhoods and increase Nashville’s housing stock.


SECTION 1. By amending Section 17.08.030 “District Land Use Tables: Residential Uses” by inserting for single-family, two-family, and multi-family a “PC” (permitted with conditions) in the OG, CN, CL, CS, CA, SCN, and SCC districts; for single-family and two-family a “PC” in the CF and CC districts; and for multi-family a “PC” in the IWD and IR zoning districts.

SECTION 2. By amending Section 17.16.030 “Uses Permitted with Conditions: Residential Uses” by inserting as “E. Adaptive Residential Development”.

E. Adaptive Residential Development. A residential use shall be permitted provided it is located on a lot or within an existing building located within the urban services district having the majority of its frontage on an arterial street or collector street as shown on the adopted Major Street Plan, and where a minimum of 40% of the existing or proposed building’s gross floor area is devoted to residential uses, subject to the following conditions:

1. Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to any residential use permitted with conditions in a non-residential zoning district, or at an applicant’s discretion, to any residential use permitted by right within a non-residential zoning district, provided it complies with the criteria set forth in this section.

2. Design Standards.

a. All Residential Uses: The standards of this section shall apply only to a building or portion thereof converted to residential use, and any addition to an existing building for residential use, where a minimum of 40% of the building’s gross floor area is devoted to residential use, as explicitly shown on the approved final site plan under the authority of Section 17.40.170.A of this title, except as provided below for new construction. The standards of this section shall not apply to any building proposing to devote less than 40% of the gross floor area to residential uses.

b. Single-Family and Two-Family Residential Uses: Single-family and two-family uses shall be permitted only in an existing building or as part of a new mixed-use development within a single-structure.
Otherwise, all other requirements and standards established by other chapters of this title, as well as any other applicable metropolitan government, state or federal regulation, shall apply to the development and use of properties shown on the final site plan. In case of conflict between the standards of this section and other chapters of this zoning code, the provisions of this section shall control, except for Council approved plans such as planned unit developments, urban design overlay districts, and redevelopment districts.

3. Residential Floor Area. In all non-residential districts that permit with conditions a residential use, no density or floor area ratio applies to those portions of a non-residential building converted to a residential use or to new residential construction.

4. Building Orientation. In any new or existing building, a primary building entrance shall be oriented to the arterial street, to the extent feasible. On a corner lot, entrances shall be determined in consultation with the zoning administrator.

5. Driveway Access. For new construction, driveway access may be permitted on a non-arterial or non-collector street only if that street intersects the arterial or collector street within the same block.

6. Parking. Parking spaces shall be required for any residential, commercial and/or retail use in accordance with Chapter 17.20, except the provisions of Section 17.20.040.E. and F. shall apply to qualifying residential projects located outside of the urban zoning overlay district. In addition, no more than 1.5 spaces shall be required per a residential dwelling unit. Tandem residential parking may be no more than two cars in depth. If parking is provided in a new deck or structure, the ground-floor of the parking facility abutting a public street shall contain commercial or retail uses for 75% of the street frontage. The commercial or retail area shall have a minimum depth of 20 feet, a minimum height of 14 feet (floor to floor) for the first floor of the garage at street level, with each storefront having between 55%-85% glazed window area along the garage wall facing the public street.

7. Traffic Impact Study. No traffic impact study shall be required, except the traffic engineer may require a study for developments of 100 dwelling units or greater.

8. Landscaping. Notwithstanding Section 17.24.050.A, any single addition that increases the total building area by twenty-five percent or more of an existing building, in whole or in part, shall provide landscaping as required by this title. Where the number of parking spaces is increased by 25%, either through a parking lot expansion or the construction of a new parking lot, interior parking lot landscaping shall be required.

9. IWD and IR Districts. Only multi-family uses shall be permitted in these two industrial districts, and then, only in a structure where the historical commission has determined the structure is worthy of conservation, was constructed more than fifty years ago, and is being preserved with no additions, deletions, or alterations which would be inconsistent with the historic nature of the building or significantly alter the building’s exterior appearance (i.e. blocking out windows with brick or other materials). In addition, the zoning administrator must find that the uses of property surrounding the non-residential structure are not detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of prospective residents and that the project will not displace viable industrial uses.

10. Final Site Plan Approval. A final site plan application shall be submitted for review and approval in a manner consistent with the procedures of Section 17.40.170.A., and any supplemental information requested after review of the application. Final site plan applications shall be of sufficient detail to fully describe the ultimate form of development and demonstrate full compliance with all applicable standards. The Zoning Administrator, upon advice of the appropriate metropolitan government agencies, shall grant final site plan approval based on findings that the design, proportions, and articulation of the proposed residential use are compatible with, and do not impact, the abutting or adjacent uses.

11. Alternative Design Standards. Where a proposed residential development cannot comply with the standards of this section, the applicant shall be required to submit for review by the Board of Zoning Appeals a special exception, in accordance with Sections 17.16.140 and 17.16.150 of this Title. The minimum filing fee shall be equal to a commercial application as per the adopted Board of Zoning Appeals fee schedule. In granting such approval of a special exception application, the Board shall determine that the applicant has demonstrated that the relief being requested will not be injurious to surrounding properties, nor violates the adopted General Plan. The Board shall not act on any application without first considering a recommendation from the planning department.
SECTION 3. By amending Section 17.16.140 “Applicability” [Special Exception]
“The land use development standards in this article apply to uses permitted by special exception, referenced as "SE" in the zoning district land use table, Section 17.08.030, or as otherwise provided in this Title...”

SECTION 4. By amending Section 17.24.050.A “Exceptions” by modifying the list of exceptions for landscaping, buffering, and tree replacement to include a non-residential building converted to residential use as follows:
A. Improvements or repairs to interior and exterior features of existing structures, including the conversion of a non-residential building to residential use either in whole or in part, as provided in this title, or the removal or destruction of trees.

SECTION 5. By amending Section 17.40.340 “Variances: Limits to Jurisdiction” by modifying the text as follows:
The board shall not grant variances to the land use provisions of Section 17.08.030, the density or floor area ratio (FAR) standards of Tables 17.12.020B and 17.12.020C, nor the required size of residential lots approved by the planning commission under the authority of Section 17.12.070, (Lot averaging), Section 17.12.080, (Cluster lot option) or Section 17.36.070C (PUD), or residential development permitted by Section 17.16.030.E. Further, the board shall not act on a variance application within a planned unit development (PUD), urban design overlay or institutional overlay district without first considering a recommendation from the planning commission.

SECTION 6. BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this ordinance take effect immediately after its passage and such change be published in a newspaper of general circulation, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: J. B. Loring, Diane Neighbors, Chris Whitson, Ludye Wallace, Charlie Tygard, Amanda McClendon, Rip Ryman, Adam Dread, Erik Cole, Buck Dozier, Mike Jameson, Pam Murray

Amendment No. 1
Ordinance No. BL2004-492

Mr. President:

I move to amend Ordinance No. BL2004-492 as follows:
1. By deleting the phrase "Urban Services District", wherein it appears in the caption of the ordinance, and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase "Urban Zoning Overlay District".

2. By deleting the phrase "urban services district", wherein it appears in Section 2, subsection E, Adaptive Reuse Development, and substituting in lieu thereof the phrase "urban zoning overlay district".

3. By amending Section 2, subsection E.2.6. Parking, by deleting in its entirety the phrase ", except the provisions of Section 17.20.040.E. and F. shall apply to qualifying residential projects located outside of the urban zoning overlay district".

Sponsored by: Diane Neighbors


Mr. President:

I move to amend Ordinance No. BL2004-492 by inserting paragraph "12" in Section 17.16.030 "Uses Permitted with Conditions: Residential Uses" following "11" as shown below:
"12. Exceptions: Any existing single-family or two-family residential structure located on any street within the CC and CF district upon the effective date of this ordinance, and which is, or will be owner-occupied, shall qualify as a "PC" use under this section. Further, in the event a use qualifying under this paragraph is damaged or destroyed, the structure may be restored within one year regardless of the percentage of damage or destruction. For purposes of this section, owner-occupied shall mean that as provided in Section 17.16.160.A.4, however, the structure need not be an historic home."

Sponsored by: Diane Neighbors

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Introduced: December 7, 2004
Passed First Reading: December 7, 2004 
Referred to: Planning Commission – Approved 9-0
(November 11, 2004)
Planning & Zoning Committee 
Amended: January 4, 2005
Passed Second Reading: January 4, 2005 
Deferred: January 18, 2005
Passed Third Reading: February 1, 2005 
Approved: February 2, 2005 
Effective: February 4, 2005