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News from the City of Forest Hills

Water Services closes Hemingway February 12–March 22

Hemingway closed

Metro Water Services is closing Hemingway Drive beginning February 12 for repairs.

The closure, expected to be complete March 22, is between Arco and Everett Drives. The detour, which runs along Tyne Boulevard, will be set up at all times.

Normal work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend and night work is not planned.

For more information, contact project manager Mark Raymer of the Walker Building Group at 615-852-7095.

Inclement weather preparation

We're in the season for inclement weather, and while we hope for the best, it is prudent to prepare for the worst. Therefore, the City and our emergency response contractors respectfully request the following assistance from our residents.

First, please consider parking at the bottom of steep driveways. The City is not able to provide services to clear off private driveways.

Second, on-street parking (e.g., parking on the right of way) is generally prohibited. However, during inclement weather residents may find that is the only way to ensure ingress/egress to their streets and/or residences.

If cars are parked on the street, please park on only one side of the street to keep streets passable for the large, heavy snow/ice and limb removal trucks that will be clearing the roads. The Parke Company is also on call to remove any limbs that may fall from ice — we hope any that do will only fall on the street and not down any powerlines. The Parke Company will be removing fallen limbs from the street and public right-of-way for this event. Any other limb removal will be per our established limb removal schedule. The schedule can be accessed here.

We thank you all for your assistance in our preparations.

History lovers hear tales of Granny White's Tavern at CNR event

The Cultural and Natural Resources Committee presented “Granny White’s Tavern And Other Neighborhood Folklore” to a capacity crowd at City Hall November 2.

Jim Kay told stories of the early entrepreneur and her turnpike tavern, hosting famous guests like Andrew Jackson and making brandy.

“This event is a terrific way to educate community members about the heritage of our neighborhoods,” said Linda Kartoz-Doochin, committee co-chair. “We hope to inspire our residents to learn more about where we live and the people who lived here before us.”

A second lecture is scheduled for March 2018.

Forest Hills History
Forest Hills History
C&NR Cochairs

Co-chairs Jane Clay Meadors and Linda Kartoz-Doochin

Residents bring in over nine tons at fall Recycling Cleanout

More than 200 residents recycled over 7,000 pounds of electronics, scrap metal, and donated goods and shredded six tons of paper at the September Recycling Cleanout.

The City needs volunteers for the spring Cleanout. It’s a great opportunity to earn service hours for Scouts or students.

To sign up, call 615-372-8677.

Recycled Items Fall
Electronics recycling (lbs.) 11,096 10,393 4,256 6,228 6,181 6,609 5,657 7,341 5,217 7,145 1,536 71,659
Scrap metal/bulk items (lbs.) 4,000 6,000 5,000 10,100 5,000 7,100 4,500 4,140 4,540 2,720 3,000 56,100
Batteries (lbs.) 1,274 2,010 630 642 396 392 756 1,267 461 541 NA 8,369
Clothing, shoes, books (lbs.) 1,000 3,000 3,000 2,000 2,700 3,700 4,200 3,950 3,620 4,750 2,650 34,570
Paper shredding (lbs.) na na na 6,000 6,500 5,500 6,700 8,900 6,500 13,000 13,000 66,100
Bulbs (#) 234 560 249 520 303 651 317 558 764 1,122 0 5,278
Tires (#) 10 25 8 14 9 12 5 27 17 6 4 137
Pallet recycling (#) 21 11 10 2 6 6 2 6 3 0 0 67
Mattresses/box springs (#) 22 35 17 6 14 26 7 15 10 9 2 163
Packing peanuts/pellets (cu.ft.) 22 20 18 9 20 10 10 40 20 3 0 172
Medicines/lotions (cu.ft.) na 10 36 24 16 16 16 16 12 12 6 164
Vehicles participating 275 250 175 290 225 300 221 290 330 360 210 2,926

Reuse Christmas tree for trails

Residents can bring their used Christmas trees to Forest Hills City Hall to be chipped up for the trails at Radnor Lake State Natural Area.

Bring your trees to the rear parking area through February 1. Also, the City’s chipper service will pick up trees on its regular routes the last week of December and in January.

Remove all ornaments, metal, and stands. For
pickup, place the tree as close to the street as possible. Do not place it in a ditch.

See schedule, guidelines


Former Mayor Coke honored

The Board of Commissioners dedicated Assembly Hall, the City Hall meeting room, in honor of former Mayor Bill Coke on August 17.

Mayor Coke was instrumental in development of the Forest Hills City Hall, which was constructed in 2011.

“Bill Coke’s years of service helped create the modern City of Forest Hills,” said Mayor John C. Lovell. “He foresaw the need for a dedicated City Hall and made it happen.”

Coke joined the Board of Commissioners in 1997 and served as Mayor from 2008 to 2014.

Coke Hall
Mayor John C. Lovell


John C. Lovell
City faced changes, challenges in the past year

THE YEAR 2017, as with most years, has had its share of changes and challenges in personnel, construction, infrastructure, and finances. MORE

City Manager Amanda Rhinehart


Amanda Rhinehart
Parking restrictions ensure safety

As 2017 comes to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to offer a few guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety during festivities. MORE

Angie Henderson


Angie Henderson
Metro planning now more strategic

The year 2017 has been especially busy in Metro Government as Nashville grows by upwards of 80 new residents a day and builds to accommodate that growth. More

City Engineer maintains
Forest Hills infrastructure

Every time you drive along City streets or watch stormwater drain through culverts and ditches, you’ve seen a sample of Brad Bivens’ professional touch.

Bivens, City Engineer of Forest Hills since 2001, maintains the public works infrastructure, which in Forest Hills is primarily roads and drainage systems.

“The purpose of my position is to provide professional engineering services to the City,” he said. “I review plans submitted to the City for compliance with the regulations governing land development and stormwater management, and work with contractors to ensure they provide appropriate, high-quality services. I also help with the City’s Capital Improvement program: street paving and maintenance, plus stormwater maintenance.”

Bivens, senior project manager for structures and civil projects at Neel-Schaffer Engineers and Planners, was appointed City Engineer in June 2001, the same month he came to work for Neel-Schaffer. Then, Charles Evers was mayor, John Lovell vice mayor, and Bill Coke commissioner.

Brad’s first job after graduating from Tennessee Tech in 1986 was working in construction at the Tellico Village development in East Tennessee. He stayed there close to two years, then joined Tennessee Department of Transportation working on bridges, which led him to Middle Tennessee in 1988.

In 1995 he became Gallatin City Engineer. His job there entailed many of the same functions he provides to Forest Hills, but on a larger scale: reviewing plans submitted to the City, verifying that they comply with subdivision and zoning regulations. “One big difference working for Gallatin: They had a lot of commercial development, whereas Forest Hills does not.”

The City Engineer’s role involves working closely with City Manager Amanda Rhinehart. They meet weekly, for example, to go over plans submitted to the City and make sure the plans comply with development standards specified in zoning regulations. That gives them an opportunity to address any problems or concerns.

They also monitor maintenance schedules and activity by contractors to ensure that infrastructure problems are addressed and fixed quickly.

Much of Brad’s interaction with the City comes through reviewing plans and meeting with the Planning Commission.

“I’ve missed very few of their meetings over the years I’ve been City Engineer,” he said. “Besides attending the meetings, anything that is going to the Planning Commission, I look it over again and see how it fits into a subdivision or site plan.”

He said he also reviews matters before the Board of Zoning Appeals, but attends those meetings only if he is needed there.

Brad Bivens
Employee Profile: City Engineer Brad Bivens

The City Engineer maintains Forest Hills’ public works infrastructure, which is primarily roads and drainage systems.

Proactive infrastructure maintenance

Bivens said he has seen changes in Forest Hills. One unfolding now: The uncertainty of funding from Hall Tax has led the City to work diligently on street infrastructure so that long-term savings can be realized from street preservation and preventive maintenance.

“We’re being more proactive in keeping streets in good shape,” he said. “We want to get caught up and put a plan in place to maintain the streets and keep them in good shape as long as possible.”

This is a cost-saving measure, Brad explained. “We can spend a little money over a long time, instead of having to spend a lot of money in the end to return streets to good condition.”

Another change he’s seen in the City is the traffic—an outgrowth not only of more residents moving to Forest Hills, but also of the exponential population growth of Nashville and Brentwood. “The number of requests for traffic calming has increased dramatically in the past few years,” he said.

Brad lives with his wife Michelle in Hendersonville. The older of their two sons, Tyler, and his wife Kallie just gave birth to Brad and Michelle’s first grandbaby. Piper Grace was born October 25 in Knoxville, where Tyler is student pastor of a church.

Their other son, Jordon, is in his first year of working toward a master’s degree in social work at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

In his spare time, Brad likes to work in the yard and do projects around the house. Spending time with Michelle is high on the list of favorite pastimes.

“She and I are just as happy doing nothing together as we are doing something,” he said. “There’s no one else I’d rather do nothing with.”

Brad’s employer Neel-Schaffer has a long history with Forest Hills. Its predecessor, Turner Engineering, has provided engineering services to the City since its incorporation in 1958.

Keep easements in mind when planning landscaping

City Arborist Parke Brown says he is often asked by Forest Hills homeowners why they see utility workers walking through their yards.

The answer, he said, is simple: prescriptive easements.

“You might see someone from NES, the water department, or other agency walking across your yard and question their right to be there,” said The Parke Company owner. “The prescriptive easement specifies that utility workers have the right to access the lines any time because of safety concerns or maintenance.”

A prescriptive easement is simply a right to use property otherwise owned by an private party. Prescriptive easements are granted, for example, when utility lines run across a yard. New buyers “inherit” the easement when they buy the property.

“Homeowners may buy a house with utility lines running across the back yard, or they might even encroach and run through the middle of the property,” Parke said. “The prescriptive easement is ‘grandfathered’ in, so utilities still have the right to access lines even though the property has been sold.”

Homeowners also need a better understanding of the impact of a public right-of-way, Brown said. “A right-of-way can extend 10 to 15 feet or more into yards,” he explained. “Municipalities and utility companies work impervious to homeowners’ plants or trees. They have right to take down trees, cut back landscaping, or dig a trench if necessary.”

Rights-of-way and prescriptive easement limit what you can plant. Think ahead before you plant, Brown recommends.

“A lot of people plant trees right next to right of way,” he said. “They need to realize that it could be removed at any time.” Brown’s advice to homeowners: Don’t plant anything next to NES poles. (NES owns most of the poles in Davidson County, and leases space to other utility suppliers.)

“Don’t put anything within 10 feet of the pole, for safety and for future aesthetics,” he said. “Years later, NES can come through and say that you can’t have landscaping there, and they can remove it.”

Keeping poles clear of vegetation is even more important now than it was in the past, he said. Now, when service has been disrupted, modern sensors allow workers to identify the status of the connection visually. If they can see the sensor on the pole from a distance, it takes less time to check on the status than if workers have to get close to the pole or remove vegetation to examine it.


NES guidelines for easements

NES installs poles and equipment on the side of the road wherever possible. This ensures timely maintenance and repairs in the future. Roadside construction minimizes the occurrence of property damage by NES trucks when making repairs or doing maintenance.

However, NES reserves the right to erect, maintain, repair, rebuild, operate and patrol electric power poles and equipment, both overhead and underground, on private property. This easement includes the right to keep the area clear of brush, timber, and fire hazards. The easement applies to all the space over, under, and across it.

The minimum distance between a driveway and an NES pole is 12 inches, but NES recommends at least three feet to avoid damage to the driveway when the pole is replaced.

Powerline Approved

Take care when landscaping near power lines. Follow these minimum planting clearances.

Shrubs: 10 feet
Small-maturing trees: 15 feet
Medium maturing trees: 35 feet
Large maturing trees: 45 feet

For more information please visit NES to download information about powerline-approved trees and to view the video “Right Tree Right Place.”

Borer threatens City’s ash trees

Emerald ash borer is now in Davidson County, and no ash tree is immune to the devastating effects of this invasive pest. Arborists fear that by 2020, all native ash trees will be dead or dying unless treated.

It infests all species of ash trees, including white, blue and green, as well as white fringetree. After the first symptoms appear, a tree can die in one to three years.

If you have an infected tree, your options are to let it die in place, to remove it proactively, or to treat it with regular injections. more info

Ash Tree ID Emerald Ash Borer

Ash trees have opposing branches on each side of the main stem. Leaves have five to eleven leaflets with toothed or smooth edges on a short stalk, or without a stalk. Young trees have smooth bark; mature bark has a tight diamond pattern.


City cherry trees experience a stressful spring, summer

By Parke Brown, Certified Arborist

The wet spring and summer has resulted in cherry leaf spot disease causing a premature leaf drop. It will not kill the trees but can weaken them especially when this occurs for several seasons. The disease is preventable using fungicide cover sprays in early spring but should be repeated with frequent spring rains. This can be costly. 

Nashville had a 15-week stretch last fall with no rain, which creates extreme stress in the City’s cherry tree resources. Watering in the first year after trees are planted helps to establish them. 

We have over 200 cherry trees. Under stress and in general in an urban forest, we have many insects vectoring problems: Japanese beetles, aphids, mites, fall web worms, borers.

These insects spread fungal and bacterial issues associated with the trees also causing defoliation. But this doesn’t mean the trees will die, necessarily. Fertilize the trees this fall; nutrition helps.

Parts of Hillsboro Pike also have very poor soil with very poor drainage; this is another pressure trees experience each year.

Unfortunately, we will have attrition every year with the volume of trees we have. In some cases, trees will die and be necessary to replace. 

Pollution Solutions

Trees help manage stormwater runoff, improve streams

Trees play an important role in managing stormwater runoff and maintaining the good health of local streams.

Prevent runoff. Trees decrease the amount of water that reaches rooftops and pavement by catching and storing rainfall in their leaves. This means much less runoff is generated from a storm over an area with trees, compared to the same storm falling on pavement.

Reduce flooding. Trees and their roots help slow down the water heading for storm drains and streams by creating soil conditions that allow greater rainwater infiltration. This reduces flash-flooding, as well as replenishing the groundwater supply.

Filter pollutants. Trees reduce pollutants two ways: by filtering the runoff as it is stored in roots and released over time, and by converting pollutants taken up through the roots into less harmful substances.

Stormwater management information is provided as part of the City’s education requirement under its state permit. MORE TIPS

Patti Czarnik’s roots run deep in the Forest Hills area

Patti Czarnik has lived in Forest Hills for 30 years, but her roots in South Nashville run much deeper.

In fact, as a child she played in what is now Sevier Park—but in those days, it was home to her good friends Pat and Sue Spore.

“I grew up in 12 South near Sevier Park. My best friends Pat and Sue Spore lived in the house in Sevier Park,” now known as Sunnyside, Patti said. Their father was Jack Spore, superintendent of Nashville Parks Department.

Nashville had acquired the 20+ acres where Sunnyside sits in 1945 from the heirs of Granville Sevier, and the Spore family lived there until 1987.

The end of the line

“In those days, it was the edge of the old city limit,” she said. “It was the end of the milk line, the mail line, and the bus line.”

Patti’s family has been in the Forest Hills area since long before the City incorporated in 1956. Her grandmother, who was not formally educated, sold vegetables and eggs along Old Hickory Boulevard when it was a gravel road.

“She always wanted to buy her own land and saved $5,000 in coins,” Patti said. “A tract of land at the northwest corner of Franklin Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard (where a Shell station is now) was for sale for $5,000, but my grandfather told her not to buy it. He said the land was too rocky.”

Patti’s parents met at Grand Ole Opry during World War II. Her grandfather, a farmer, regularly invited soldiers to attend the performances.

“Daddy was from Chicago,” she said, a city boy. “Mama got him on a horse and didn’t tell him it was a jumper,” Patti said. “She got the horses trotting and before he knew it, the horse had jumped a five-rail fence.”

Patti graduated from Middle Tennessee State University first in her class in 1974, with majors in history and sociology. “It was there I fell further in love with Southern architecture, studying and working in the first historic preservation class which has since become a degreed emphasis,” she said.

After graduating from Nashville School of Law, she worked for various healthcare companies. Today, she owns an automotive repair shop with five technicians.

“There we maintain the fleets of several healthcare entities including Red Cross, HCA, and Saint Thomas. I enjoy staying in touch with my healthcare roots via that business,” she said. “My colleagues, many of them women, trust a lady-owned repair shop. So I guess service is my calling, from healthcare to vehicles.”

Patty Czarnik

Patti lived with her sister on Chickering Park Drive for several years until she met her husband Tom, who lived in Birmingham at the time and moved to Nashville when they got married. The two of them bought their current home in Hound’s Run in May 1995 and married in July 1995.

It turned out that her mother was quite familiar with the land, having taken pony rides through the area before it was developed.

“When I took her up there she said, ‘I wish I had a nickel for every time I tied Trixie to that tree,’ indicating a 100-year-old dogwood tree nearby,” Patti said.

Patti’s interest in the Hound’s Run neighborhood became official when she began working with its home owners association. She has served as its president and as a community coordinator for area neighborhoods. She first got to know Forest Hills officials regarding a development issue on Beddington Park Drive.

Patti says Forest Hills represents a perfect confluence of Oak Hill, Belle Meade, and Nashville.

“I love the natural beauty of area with lovely green open space and great neighbors,” she said. “It’s convenient to Nashville, Brentwood and my family in Franklin.”

She is dedicated to citizens’ groups showing concern for responsible growth and preservation of natural areas. She is adamant about not introducing commercial development on Granny White Pike, north of Old Hickory Boulevard.

“Congestion everywhere is becoming an issue in Nashville,” she said

Besides spending time as a community volunteer and doing pro bono work, Patti likes taking care of her house and her pets in her spare time. She has four dogs, all rescue animals. She and Tom have a lake house in East Tennessee where they like to get away from it all.

“Tom recently retired, and we’re trying to decide what we want to do,” she said. “At this stage, we may be downsizing.”

That’s not a problem, she said. “I could be happy anywhere. Tennessee is a beautiful state.”

Forest Hills street salting, snow plowing follow priority list

The City of Forest Hills’ contractor, Johnson Lawn and Landscape, will begin salting and snow removal efforts on the priority streets below before picking up other streets.

Snow removal priority list

  1. Balbade Drive, Park Ridge, Chateau
  2. Crater Hill Drive, Chickering Park, Ridgewood
  3. Tyne Boulevard, Stuart Glen, Fredericksburg and Laurel Ridge, Robert E. Lee between Tyne and Otter Creek
  4. Cromwell Drive
  5. Kingsbury Drive
  6. Chickering Lane
  7. Otter Creek Road
  8. Hound’s Run Subdivision, Beddington Park from Granny White Pike, Estbury, Oakleigh Hill, Edenbridge Way from Otter Creek Road
  9. Stanford: North, South, and Court
  10. Taggartwood Drive, Cliftee Drive
  11. Mary Helen Drive
  12. McGrace Lane
  13. Toddington Drive
  14. Twinmont Court

City offers free monthly chipping

The City of Forest Hills provides free chipping service and leaf pickup on a monthly basis by The Parke Company, 615-350-6033.

This service is provided free to residents of Forest Hills for normal yard maintenance. It is not designed to assist with clearing properties of trees, shrubs, or trash.

If you hire a professional to trim or take down trees, then that provider is responsible for removing all the debris generated. Please make those arrangements when you hire a tree service. SCHEDULE / GUIDELINES

Percy Priest named Reward School for TNReady performance

Percy Priest Elementary and Glendale Spanish Emersion Elementary are two of the Metro schools named Reward Schools, representing District 8 in the category of “Top Academic Performing Schools.”

 Reward Schools for TNReady performance include the top five percent of schools for academic achievement and the top five percent for student growth. These 169 schools span 60 districts across Tennessee.

TNReady, a part of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, is designed to assess true student understanding, not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. It is a way to assess what students know and what educators can do to help them succeed.

“These schools represent what is possible for students in Tennessee as they exemplify excellence in performance or progress,” state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said.


Resident Brendan Finucane photographed this fox.

Share snapshots of City wildlife

One of the things that makes Forest Hills special is its natural beauty, including local wildlife. You can help document this aspect of the City by sharing your photos. Add your entry to the Forest Hills wildlife scrapbook.

Help fund the City: Write in ‘1904’

The only way for the City to get its fair share of Hall Tax revenues is for every resident to write in “City of Forest Hills, 1904” on state income tax forms.

Over the past six years money from Hall Tax has represented 51% of funding. Last year, at least 260 state income tax reports filed by City residents failed to include this crucial information.

Do your part. Don’t let Forest Hills’ fair share of the tax revert to Nashville. Write in “City of Forest Hills, 1904” on your state income tax report.

Write in 1904