The Metro Council is set to make a decision Tuesday that could drastically change the look and feel of one of Nashville's most popular neighborhoods.
A possible zoning change would impact the midtown area, including West End, Vanderbilt, Centennial Park and other nearby side streets.
If approved, the plan would allow for larger buildings and more pedestrian traffic, but some are worried the city is moving too fast.
"Our old model of building a city was suburban sprawl," said Metro Councilman Burkley Allen.
The new model is a walkable mixed-use area, such as The Gulch. And the midtown area of Nashville could be the next frontier as some Metro Council members are looking at a zoning change to allow for taller, higher density buildings set closer to the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.
They envision something walkable, where shoppers wouldn't have to get in their cars and drive from place to place.
"The goal is to make the foot traffic like what you would see downtown. The sidewalks of downtown are full of people," Allen said.
But talk about a big change to the look and feel of a neighborhood often brings big concerns. There are dozens of historic buildings in the area, so preserving those is a priority.
"I think most people would tell you that we need to take this area away from a suburban large parking lot model. That's not something we disagree on," said Metro Councilman Jason Holleman.
The rezoning is seen as a critical element to the success of the proposed bus rapid transit line connecting areas of west Nashville to east Nashville.
But with the deadline to apply for federal funding delayed, Holleman said there's no need to rush.
"I think we need to take more time so people understand what's going on and are comfortable with what's being proposed," Holleman said.
Allen said she is working on some changes to the proposal to give protections to some of the historic buildings in the affected area and hopes to have those ready for council soon.
Metro Council is scheduled to take a final vote on the zoning change at its meeting Tuesday evening.
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