Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Metro Nashville--Recent History Of Massive Flooding And Abe's Garden With Its SP Zoning And Subsequent Massive Environmental Degradation


(ABOVE)EVEN WITH BEAUTIFUL BOUNDARY TREES 75-100' TALL AND  50-75 YEARS OLD, ON MAY 1, 2010  OUR  RICHLAND CREEK WATERSHED---AND ALL OF NASHVILLE---suffered the worst flood in our city's history.

Below is a photo which I personally took on that fateful Sunday of massive flooding just down from our condos on Harding Road and the new environmental development next to us called Abe's Garden.

At the time of this huge 500-year flood, Abe's Garden had already obtained an SP Zoning from the Metro Planning Commission in 2008 but had yet to act on it.  Interesting thing about a Metro Nashville SP zoning is that once it's granted, there is no accountability----ever---no matter how many changes a developer makes, no matter how long it takes to build. An SP zoning is like giving a developer a free pass FOREVER to a fox in a henhouse.

 Fast forward several years to the spring of 2014 when Abe's Garden with its long ago-granted SP zoning comes blazing into our neighborhood with a free pass to do whatever it wants and put far, far too much development on a half-postage stamp of land (most of which is riparian or flood plain/ underdevelopable land. They are like Cinderella's step sisters trying to fit their big feet into the glass slipper. From the start, we have had a boundary dispute with Abe's Garden which is going to court in early January, 2015. We think we have a good chance of prevailing. Still we decided not to try to stop Abe's Garden from going on with its humongous development. They came in and cut down our boundary trees and then excavated our disputed property, not paying even a modicum of attention to our lawsuit.

But getting back to our flood control issues,  overnight, our beautiful boundary trees were mowed down into mulch---all in the name of creating a garden for Alzheimers treatment.  After all, they had the blessing of some big donors including Martha Ingram, various city officials---including former mayor and influence peddler Bill Purcel who wants to put his ailing mother in the development when it's finished.  So with all these people behind them, what possible difference does it make to take our property and mow down all the beautiful trees?

Below,  Abe's Garden plays god in West Nashville with its SP zoning and says it knows what's best for the neighborhood in spite of the protests. It says it's followed everything to the letter of the law and is happy to plant its neighbors a few ornamental trees---at great expense to them.

Gee, thanks to architect Maneul Zeitlin and owner Mike Shmerling.  Can't wait to see what happens next.... Meanwhile, our trial begins in early January, 2015. We believe we have a good chance of prevailing, only time will tell.

Below, Abe's Garden decides to mulch the neighborhood greenway and flood runoff protection to make room for its idea of a 'garden'.

Meanwhile, our quality of life, privacy, wind, water, noise breaks, our soil quality and our property values have been shattered and for now there's nothing we can do. As far as flood control: since Abe's Garden mowed down the neighborhood's best flood control and soil stabilizer when it destroyed our big trees, we can only hope we don't have another gargantuan flood anytime soon. Somehow, I don't think Abe's tinkering with flooding and water runoff mitigation will make any of us in West Nashville feel secure with its superficial fixes that they can tell their big donors about.

Below, Abe's flood mitigation down by the creek in the riparian zone...flood control?  Cut down all established trees then put in a large concrete culverts and some plastic signs saying Do Not Disturb! That should do it.


This storm sewer with the pond Abe's promises to build will only make flooding faster and more furious into the Richland Creek watershed  a few feet below the drain. The flooding  and run off will only be worse, and much faster.

Truth is, we will ultimately solve our boundary dispute in the next few months and plant large trees to begin to repair the horrific damage to our neighborhood. But in truth, the larger city of Nashville and its quality of life is the biggest loser when developers like Abe's Garden and Mike Shmerling have its way with us.

Below, instead of trees, we now have a sign which is supposed to make us feel better.  What a joke.
Do not disturb?!  There's nothing left to disturb after Abe's has destroyed the natural environment we have enjoyed here for 30-50 years.

This is what happens when there's no accountability for developers when an SP zoning permit is granted by the Metro Planning Commission and kept in place by the likes of influence peddlers like Bill Purcel.


God willing, I and my neighbors will recover from this horrific environmental disaster that has been inflicted on our neighborhood by Abe's Garden. But Nashville may not with developers like Abe's having its way with lax SP zoning permits and zero accountability after they're permitted. Shame on the light-weight city of Nashville and Metro Planning Commission.

But take heart,  at least one other environmental disaster  and waste of taxpayers' monies has been averted for now in Nashville.... Praise God! And thank you Lee Beaman...who is the de facto leading conservative in this city.  When Lee is against something,  it's not likely to succeed, and Lee was majorly again the AMP boondoggle.

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