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Planning Department

Music Row Vision Plan

Creating a sustainable framework for Music Row's future

Music Row is the symbolic heart of Nashville's music and entertainment industry. In January 2015, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced Music Row as a National Treasure. Since 2015, Metro planners have been working with Music Row stakeholders to understand historical assets and define challenges threatening Music Row. Extensive community outreach and analysis have been undertaken to further clarify core issues affecting the area.

Music Row Vision Plan

Music Row Vision Plan Cover

Over the last four years, Metro Planning staff has worked closely with community members, music industry leaders, and other stakeholders to create the Music Row Vision Plan. This document identifies the significance of, and pressures facing Music Row, and contains a broad range of recommendations and action steps to pursue. The overarching theme of the Vision Plan is to ensure that Music Row continues to be a vital hub of music business and innovation, and a unique creative cluster within Nashville. It is a planning document, but also a call to action for the public and private sectors, neighbors and developers, and all those who support and strengthen the Row.

The purpose of the Music Row Vision Plan is to guide and inform the preparation and consideration of implementation tools and development proposals.

June 27, 2019 – Planning Commission approval

The Planning Commission approved the Music Row Vision Plan by a 7-0 vote during the June 27, 2019 regular meeting.

Previous Drafts

The first draft of the Music Row Vision Plan was posted on April 10, 2019. Planners hosted a community meeting to present the draft plan on Monday, April 22, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at Belmont Church (68 Music Square East, Nashville, TN 37203). Input received at this meeting will be used to prepare a final draft plan to be presented to the Planning Commission.

Planners talked one-on-one with attendees at stations to gather input and answer questions. Materials presented at the meeting include:

The public hearing (static) draft of the Music Row Vision Plan incorporated feedback received on the first draft. Overall, significant visual improvements have been made for clarity and legibility of the document. As a result, the static draft looks significantly different from the original. Many changes are graphic only, but there are other substantive changes too. To highlight the substantive changes that have been made, please review the Music Row Vision Plan Changes Tracker. The changes tracker document lists all of the substantive changes and references the page numbers of the static draft.

Milestones and supporting information

2019

Music Row Steering Committee meeting

  • February 20 - Metro planners share an Executive Summary report, draft Music Row Framework Plan, and elements to consider for drafting Community Character Policy for the Music Row Plan with the Steering Committee members. Members comment on and establish consensus around the primary building blocks for the Music Row Plan. Planning staff updates Steering Committee members with a progress report on the Music Row Business Survey and "Blue Ribbon" Committee.

2018

Photo of small-group discussion around poster

  • December 4 - Planning staff meets with the Steering Committee to provide a progress update on the Music Row Business Survey and "Blue Ribbon" Committee, which are providing two critical analyses that will inform the Planning Study. Staff presents an update on the policy areas and draft Music Row Framework Plan and also proposes a timeline for community engagement starting in January as well as an April date for adoption of the Music Row Plan by the Planning Commission.
  • December - Metro Planning forms a Blue Ribbon Committee, a working group of music industry leaders, historians, and architects to analyze and identify key buildings that contribute to Music Row's overall cultural identity. These properties, essential to telling the story of Music Row and the music industry in Nashville, will serve as sending sites for a Transfer of Development Rights program.
  • October - Metro Planning, in collaboration with Bloomberg Associates and Middle Tennessee State University's Department of Recording Industry, initiates the Music Row Business Survey, a door-to-door survey to gain an understanding of the challenges and priorities of Music Row businesses. The analysis includes over 200 responses to date, a response rate that is high enough to draw reliable conclusions, and will be included in the Music Row Plan. Business owners and managers in the study shared their thoughts in person, online, and via phone.
  • September - Metro Planning's economic consultant, Economic and Planning Systems, produces a draft report, Music Row Transfer of Development Rights Feasibility Study, with a summary of recommendations. The analysis serves as the critical foundation for using transfer of development rights as a mechanism for protecting historical and cultural assets within Music Row.
  • February - Planning staff meets with the Steering Committee working group to evaluate an analysis of Music Row public infrastructure including streets, alleyways, and parking in order to provide guidance on a future Master Plan.

2017

  • November 28 – The Planning Department, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and consultant Economic and Planning Systems, Inc. present a November 28, 2017 progress report to community stakeholders on possible implementation tools for Music Row, including a study of Transferable Development Rights, a possible Business Improvement District, and an overall Master Plan.
  • June - October – Metro begins procurement process for an economic consultant to study Transfer of Development Rights' feasibility as a preservation tool.
  • January - May – The Planning Department holds multiple stakeholder meetings to evaluate the potential of form-based zoning as a development tool.

2016

photo of meeting around large table

2015

  • April 2015 - November 2016 – The National Trust begins documentation of the history of Music Row and releases its findings in late 2015. The final report, Multiple Property Documentation form (MPDF), is approved by the Tennessee Historical Commission and the National Park Service.
  • February 12 – The Planning Commission votes unanimously to defer or disapprove any rezoning requests along Music Row, pending further study.
  • January 12 – Following demolition of several structures and amid growing uncertainty about Music Row's future, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designates Music Row a National Treasure.