NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Hundreds of West Nashville residents attended a meeting at the Montgomery Bell Academy Dining Hall demanding information about the Belle Meade Plaza development project.
More than 300 people rushed to the meeting and some told WSMV4 how they were hoping to get answers, but instead, the meeting turned into something else.
“We are people who have been to enough meetings called by our council persons,” said Nashville native Dianne Neal.
Neal was one of the 320 people who attended Saturday’s meeting where they heard about a development plan that would add a hotel, condos, apartments, and a green space to the area. For many, they’ve said this area is already significantly congested with traffic.
“No one is arguing that this is a beautiful historic building that we have to preserve,” said West Nashville Homeowner Kate Parrish. “The issue is, we do want it rezoned.”
Neighbors like Parrish said they are outraged at the plan they’ve seen. Parrish said the plan shows no clear traffic update while replacing many of the stores they use constantly with rentals and hotels.
After voicing concerns at two other meetings about this development, hundreds rushed to this final meeting.
“People came into this meeting today thinking that it was going to be the developer and the city telling us about their traffic study,” Parrish said. “Now it’s been changed into a meeting about NDOT wanting to listen to us about what we don’t like about traffic in the area as a whole.”
After the meeting, it left many shocked.
“In exchange for our time, we expected to hear some facts and some figures,” Neal said. “We expect someone to go out on a limb and say this is what we want to do.”
WSMV4 spoke to council member Kathleen Murphy about the sudden change.
“For NDOT to make the best decommissions for all these developments, they needed to hear this information here today,” Murphy said.
Murphy said the planning commission will also defer the rezoning decision at their next meeting, pushing it off even further.
“I don’t know what everyone is thinking about how we were left, but I suspect it’s frustration and disappointment,” Neal said. “Those two things are fester, so we’ll see.”
Council members said they’re just waiting on a review and planning for more meetings.
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