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Metro Council Mulls Over Plan To Preserve Historic Sylvan Park Homes

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Metro Council Mulls Over Plan To Preserve Historic Sylvan Park Homes

CREATED Jul 1, 2014

by Jason Lamb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The stage has been set for a contentious debate at Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting over the future of Nashville's Sylvan Park neighborhood.

Specifically: whether a zone designed to preserve historic buildings - known as a conservation overlay - should be expanded.

“The idea behind it certainly noble, to preserve truly historic homes,” said Travis Handley, a neighbor who opposes the conservation overlay. “I don't know if the concept of an overlay that affects an entire area properly achieves that.”

The Sylvan Park Conservation overlay would make it more difficult to demolish or renovate the front or sides of most homes built before 1945 - requiring approval from Metro's Historic Zoning Commission.

Those against it worry that without being able to demolish older homes and build new ones in their place, the real estate market in the area will grind to a halt.

But Metro Councilman Jason Holleman said the existing conservation overlay proves that people can renovate historic homes that get commission approval. He said the restrictions would be worth it in the long run.

“At the end of the day, obviously there’s some tradeoffs for preserving historic structures versus doing something only a few people may do, although on the whole, when you have an historic home with a great front facade, you typically don't want to disturb that,” said Metro Councilman Jason Holleman who proposed the idea.

The conservation overlay is on second reading at the Metro Council meeting Tuesday night starting at 6:30.

A similar conservation overlay district in Sylvan Park was proposed eight years ago, but it failed to pass.

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