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Planning Department

Sidewalk Planning Requirements

Sidewalk Text Amendment Ordinance No. BL2019-1659

The Metro Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on June 27 at 4 p.m. at the Howard Office Building, 700 2nd Avenue South, for the Sidewalk Text Amendment (MPC Case 2019Z-013TX-001). The text amendment updates various language related to the implementation and construction of sidewalks with commercial, multi-family, and one- or two-family developments.

Proposed Ordinance with Changes Identified

The current schedule:

  • June 4, 2019 – First Reading at Metro Council
  • June 12, 2019 – Stakeholder Meeting, 11:30 am, Metro Office Building, 800 2nd Avenue South, in Development Services Center
  • June 27, 2019 – Metro Planning Commission Public Hearing
  • July 2, 2019 – Second Reading at Metro Council with Public Hearing
  • July 16, 2019 – Third Reading at Metro Council

Questions or comments about the proposed amendment can be sent to Michael Briggs (Michael.Briggs@nashville.gov), Transportation Planning Manager.

About Sidewalk Planning Requirements

In April of 2017, the Metro Council approved Third Substitute Ordinance No. BL2016-493, which updated Metro Nashville’s Sidewalk Requirements in the Metro Zoning Code.

  • Download the Sidewalk Ordinance fact sheet for an overview of the ordinance.sidewalk requirements map
  • In order to determine whether sidewalk construction is required on a particular property, consult the Sidewalk Requirements Map. Attention builders developing two-family residential horizontal property regimes (HPRs): In utilizing the Sidewalks Requirements Map to determine whether new sidewalks are required, you must enter the parcel number of the common area to get an accurate result. You will not get an accurate result if you enter the address of parcel number of the individual unit(s).
  • The Codes Department makes the final determination on sidewalk requirement applicability. This applies to all building and renovation permit reviews.

This ordinance connects the sidewalk requirements to the city’s land use and multimodal transportation plans such NashvilleNext, Access Nashville 2040, nMotion and WalknBike. These plans have detailed and underscored the importance of safe pedestrian facilities and their connection to improved transit systems and growth in identified centers.

This ordinance requires sidewalks when there are significant investments in appropriate geographic areas, such as centers and corridors as designated in NashvilleNext. It also coordinates with public investments and the Capital Improvements Budget process by making exceptions for required sidewalk installation where Public Works has funded and scheduled a sidewalk improvement project. It requires that improvements such as driveways are graded appropriately for planned sidewalks identified in WalknBike.

Further, the addition of five new pedestrian benefit zones will allow in lieu contributions to be spent closer to the project. Lastly, it allows the Planning Department to work with developers on alternative sidewalk designs through the Board of Zoning Appeals variance process.

If a sidewalk is required, the design standard (grass strip and sidewalks widths) can be found either:

  • In the Major and Collector Street Plan, or
  • If a street is not in the Major and Collector Street Plan or is shown in gray on the map, the local street standard is a 4’ grass strip and a 5’ sidewalk.
  • Contact the Planning Department at MajorStreetPlan@nashville.gov to review a sidewalk design alternative. A hardship must be demonstrated in reviewing a design alternative.

The Department of Public Works will review construction plans and right-of-way dedications.

Construction Plan Requirements

If a right-of-way dedication is needed, use one of the following instruments: