The Planning Department is working on updates to community planning, land use and street plans in the Wedgewood Houston and Chestnut Hill Neighborhoods. This project, in partnership with the community, neighborhood organizations, and Councilmember Colby Sledge, began as a project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, as part of its Our Town Grant Program. The grant funds two parts of the study:
- WeHome, a podcast and social practice artworks built around community dialogue in Wedgwood Houston and Chestnut Hill
- A market study of the area’s light industrial and urban (or maker) economy.
The Wedgewood Houston and Chestnut Hill neighborhoods are within a NashvilleNext first tier center and are along two major transit corridors. To support equitable, walkable development in these areas, the Planning Department is undertaking a planning study of the center and surrounding neighborhoods. The study will also consider how preservation of light industrial jobs and expansion of urban manufacturing can support equitable development and sustain this neighborhood’s unique character.
Planning staff reconvened the Task Force for the project in November 2018 in preparation for Charrette Week and the work to follow.
Planners hosted a design charrette, or workshop, for the community the week of April 29, 2019. The preliminary materials are listed below. If you have any additional thoughts, suggestions, or questions, please email the project lead, Stephanie McCullough
Monday, April 29–Community Visioning Workshop
The Visioning Workshop was held on Monday, April 29 at Trevecca University. Approximately 50 participants sat in small groups along with a table facilitator to discuss the study area - what should be maintained; what should change; what are the characters of different areas; which building types should be placed where. Planning staff and members of the project’s Task Force toured the study area earlier in the day, to gain an understanding of issues to be addressed within the study area.
Tuesday, April 30
Planners worked on-site all day to compile information from seven table maps that discussed which areas should be maintained or changed, and what types of buildings. Planners created an overall preliminary framework plan and worked on drafting a vision statement and goals. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., the team held Open Design hours where approximately 20 community members watched planners at work. Later in the afternoon, planners checked in with the project's Task Force, comprised of local business owners, property owners, neighborhood leaders, and institutional representatives.
Wednesday, January 30
Planners, working on-site all day, continued work on preliminary materials, including an analysis of potential long-range policy changes, and prepared for Thursday evening's community discussion. From 10 a.m. till noon, the team held Open Design hours where approximately 10 community members watched planners at work at the Tarter Student Activities Center, at Trevecca University.
Thursday May 2
Planners continued to work all day to create materials that showcase the intensive analysis and design from the previous days. At 5:30 p.m., almost 30 community members joined planning staff at a meeting to discuss the week’s progress. Staff presented the work, gathered feedback from attendees, and discussed next steps for the project, which includes additional outreach to neighbors in the Chestnut Hill community.
The work so far
The Planning team began by compiling a “snapshot” of demographics, current conditions, and prior plans for the study area.
In April 2018, the neighborhoods celebrated the WeHome Podcast with listening stations, podcast participants, three interactive artworks responding to themes in the podcast, and preliminary community engagement. Explore the podcast or review the results from the exercises. An online survey was uses to gather input from those who could not attend the event, among other community members.
Both Chestnut Hill and Wedgewood Houston have been extensively studies and have been extensively studied and have received substantial planning attention. This study is intended to build upon ad integrate existing plans for the community. Key plans reviewed include:
- NashvilleNext, including:
- Nashville Civic Design Center’s two neighborhood studies: (include hyperlink for NCDC)
- The South Nashville Action People’s (SNAP) Council on Affordable Living Report (2014)
- The Urban Land Institute’s Placemaking through Infill and Corridor Redevelopment (2010)
- Other county-wide plans:
- nMotion and Let’s Move Nashville – the county’s transportation plan, and the plan for implementation/funding
- Plan to Play, Metro Parks and Greenways Master Play
Planning staff is still working to engage the community in this conversation by convening focus groups and additional meetings/opportunities for providing feedback. In addition to community feedback, Planning staff will meet with other Metro Departments, TDOT, and the Task Force to refine the recommendations.
Draft recommendations will be prepared by the end of June 2019. Staff will host a community meeting for input on the draft, which will be revised and presented to the Planning Commission in the fall.
The Planning team has been collecting and synthesizing existing conditions and recommendations from these plans. The team has also been talking to neighborhood stakeholders, including:
- Business owners
- Developers/property owners
Our arts partners, Erica Ciccarone and SeedSpace, collected stories and interviews about the planning area. Compiled into a nine-episode podcast, WeHome asks two strangers to tour each others' lives and tell each other stories, reflecting the variety of experiences in and around Chestnut Hill and Wedgewood Houston. These are the kinds of stories that planners often hear when talking with the public, but have difficulty conveying in the dry language of planning documents. The WeHome podcast is an exciting opportunity to bring the richness of community dialogue to a broader audience.