Effort to instill historic overlay in Sylvan Park deferred - WKRN News 2

Effort to instill historic overlay in Sylvan Park deferred indefinitely

Posted: Updated: Jul 01, 2014 10:38 PM

The Metro Council chambers were filled with dozens of passionate people who got the change to weigh in on a conservation overlay that threatened to dictate what Sylvan Park homeowners can do with their property.

After hours of deliberation weighing the opinions of the public, the effort to instill the historic overlay was deferred indefinitely just before 9:30 p.m.

Council member Jason Holleman introduced the overlay at the beginning of June, saying he was asked by a group of residents to do something to protect the neighborhood's historic character.

It would have basically stopped old homes from being torn down and replaced with new ones.

"We've had an accelerated rate of tear-downs over the last few years, and obviously once the historic homes are gone, they're gone, so we've already got to the point where the whole neighborhood wasn't eligible anymore for conservation zoning, so if we don't do it now it will probably be too late," Holleman explained.

Many Sylvan Park residents, like Christie Bradley, opposed to the overlay from the beginning, citing the primary issue of property rights.

"It's a matter of property rights and I don't see that someone's opinion of what the houses around them look like is more important than my own personal property rights and my neighbors personal property rights," she told News 2.

Jeanine Brush disagrees and hoped it passed to prevent builders from tearing down smaller, older homes and replacing them with what she calls “oversized" homes.

"And so what we're here trying to do is to have that controlled in a better fashion,” Brush explained. “They can still build new homes, but in better fashion, one that will be in keeping with the character of our neighborhood.”

If the overlay passed, it would have impacted 700 homes.

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