An Ordinance amending Title 16 of the Metropolitan Code by amending section 16.28.190 relative to demolition permits for historic structures.

Whereas, the Metropolitan Government established the Historical Commission pursuant to Metropolitan Code Section 2.128.010; and

Whereas, historic structures are an invaluable part of history of Nashville and Davidson County; and

Whereas, historic structures are an inherently irreplaceable, finite resource, of substantial community and public value; and

Whereas, historic structures are important to the economic well-being of Nashville and Davidson County in attracting visitors and providing unique locations for businesses; and

Whereas, historic structures provide housing for all income levels; and

Whereas, historic structures can be adapted for new uses and revitalize communities; and

Whereas, the continued use of historic structures preserves irreplaceable craftsmanship and building materials; and

Whereas, historic structures serve as visible reminders of the history and cultural heritage of the community, state and United States; and

Whereas, allowing up to ninety days before a demolition permit issues will allow the Historical Commission time to attempt mitigation of a planned demolition, including but not limited to documentation, salvage of historic materials, dismantling of historic structure for education in construction technology, relocation, or other appropriate measures; and

Whereas, T.C.A. §7-51-1201 states that no residential structure may be demolished, without Metropolitan Council approval, if it meets the following criteria:

(1) The residential structure was originally constructed before 1865;
(2) The residential structure is reparable at a reasonable cost; and
(3) The residential structure has a historical significance besides age itself, including, but not limited to, uniqueness of architecture, occurrence of historical events, notable former residents, design by a particular architect, or construction by a particular builder; and

Whereas, the Metropolitan Historic Zoning Commission is uniquely qualified to make the necessary determinations under these criteria.


Section 1. That chapter 16.28 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws be and the same is hereby amended by deleting Section 16.28.190 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following new Section 16.28.190:

16.28.190 Issuance.
A. If the application for a permit under this chapter and the drawings filed therewith describe work which does not conform to the requirements of this chapter or other pertinent laws or ordinances, the director of codes administration shall not issue a permit, but shall return the drawings to the applicant with his refusal to issue such permit. Such refusal shall, when requested, be in writing and shall contain the reasons therefor.

B. When the Department of Codes Administration receives an application for a demolition permit for a structure which, individually or as part of a group of structures, is listed or is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, or meets the criteria of T.C.A. § 7-51-1201 as determined by the Historic Zoning Commission, but is not included in a historic overlay district, the Director of Codes Administration shall not issue a demolition permit for the structure until the Executive Director of the Historical Commission approves the demolition permit. The Executive Director must take action on the demolition permit within ninety days of the permit application, unless a longer period is agreed upon by the applicant and the Executive Director.

C. The following requirements shall be satisfied prior to the issuance of a demolition permit for a structure that was originally constructed before 1865:

1. The property owner or the owner's agent applying for a demolition permit for a structure that was originally constructed before 1865 shall, with the application for the permit, present to the Director of Codes Administration and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Historical Commission at least two reports, each prepared by a Qualified Historic Restoration Consultant, stating the following:
a. The name and qualifications of the person making the report.
b. The condition of structural elements of the building proposed to be demolished. Such report should include an assessment of damage or decay, if any, to foundations, flooring, floor supports, walls and other vertical supports, ceilings, roofs and their support systems and other horizontal elements, fireplace, chimneys, exterior cladding and other exterior elements that may affect structural integrity, windows, window frames and doors and/or any fault, defect or condition that might affect the structural integrity or the water-tightness of the building.
c. An estimated cost of repair for those item(s) identified in the structural report as damaged or decayed and which affect the structural integrity of the structure.
d. A valuation from a Qualified Historic Properties Real Estate Appraiser of the building(s) proposed to be demolished.

2. For purposes of subsection C.1., the following definitions shall apply:

"Qualified Historic Restoration Consultant" is defined as a professionally licensed Architect or General Contractor with a specialty in historic buildings, i.e., one who has worked directly on the rehabilitation or restoration of historic buildings for a minimum of ten years and/or a minimum of fifteen long-term (lasting six months or more) historic building projects. The consultant shall provide a list of qualifying historic projects, detailing their scope, budget, the consultant's scope of involvement, specific historic issues/challenges, date of completion, and client contact information. The MHZC will determine whether the consultant meets these criteria.

"Qualified Historic Properties Real Estate Appraiser" is defined as an individual who has a minimum of five years of professional experience working as a real estate appraiser, specifically including the valuation of historic property, buildings, and their appurtenances. For these purposes, "Historic" shall be defined as 100 years old and older. The Appraiser shall provide a listing of historic properties evaluated, with accompanying date of service and client contact information. The MHZC will determine whether the consultant meets these established criteria.

3. Upon receipt of the demolition permit application, the Metropolitan Historic Zoning Commission shall, at a scheduled public hearing, make the determination as to whether or not the structure meets the criteria of T.C.A. § 7-51-1201. If the Historic Zoning Commission determines that the structure at issue meets the criteria of T.C.A. § 7-51-1201, it shall initiate legislation to allow the Metropolitan Council the opportunity to approve or disapprove the demolition in accordance with T.C.A. § 7-51-1201 et seq.

Section 2. This ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Pam Murray, John Summers


Introduced: November 15, 2005
Passed First Reading: November 15, 2005
Referred to: Codes Committee
Planning & Zoning Committee
Substitute Introduced: December 6, 2005
Passed Second Reading: December 6, 2005 
Withdrawn: December 20, 2005