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News from the City of Forest Hills

Forest Hills public hearing seeks input on zoning changes Oct. 20

Proposed zoning changes protecting the character of the City of Forest Hills are the subject of a public hearing October 20 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

The changes build on the City’s Comprehensive Plan created in 2010 and last revised in 2012. “In continuing efforts to achieve these strategic goals, the Planning Commission seeks input from residents on proposed changes addressing setbacks, building height, floor area, and tree preservation,” said Mayor John Lovell.

To further protect the context and character of neighborhoods, the City proposes to improve existing tools and to implement new ones, resulting in thoughtful, context-sensitive development, while allowing for neighborhood evolution.


“These changes have been principally driven by resident comments and concern for consistent streetscapes and development,” said City Manager Amanda Deaton-Moyer. They include:

  • Setbacks. Widen side setbacks to increase city greenspaces, and adjust front requirements for more flexibility to align the fronts of adjacent homes.
  • Height and roof design. Create two height zones and amend roof-pitch requirements to allow smoother transitions between rows of homes.
  • Floor area: Introduce standards relating floor space to lot size to make sure neighborhood homes are compatible and match the lot size.
  • Tree preservation. Protect front-yard trees to improve streetscapes encourage tree planting.

For further information, contact Amanda Deaton-Moyer at 615-372-8677 or by email.

Neighborhood Watch Kickoff

Neighborhood Watch

October 24
6:15-7:15 pm

Join us to kick off Neighborhood Watch in Forest Hills. Nashville Police Department liaisons for Forest Hills will give a short presentation and answer your safety questions.

See the map of the city divided into Neighborhood Watch Blocks – and find your own block. Join your neighbors for a glass of wine with some hors d’oeuvres as we learn to communicate for safety.

For more information or to volunteer to add the honorific “Captain” in front of your name email Jennifer Hackett or call City Hall at 615-372-8677.

Richland Creek Workshop

Richland Watershed

October 25
6-7:30 pm

Richland Creek’s headwaters originate in Forest Hills. The Cultural and Natural Resources Committee hosts the Cumberland River Compact in a neighborhood workshop with information about mitigating pollution issues on the stream. Meet one another, enjoy wine and cheeses, and learn what can be done to protect Richland Creek.

Get ready for Recycling Clean Out October 15

The fall Recycling Clean Out returns to City Hall October 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 rain or shine.

At the April Clean Out, hundreds of Forest Hills residents recycled tons of electronics, scrap metal, donated goods, batteries, bulbs, expired medicine, and more at the City's recent Recycle Clean Out.

The 290 vehicles represented the second-highest ever. Residents also recycled a record number of batteries and brought a new high of 8,900 pounds of documents for shredding.

Nearly 300 households brought tons of items to the spring Recycling Clean Out.

Recycled Items

Fall 12

Spring 13

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Spring 14

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Spring 15

Fall 15

Spring 16


Electronics recycling (lbs.)










Scrap metal/bulk items (lbs.)










Batteries (lbs.)










Clothing, shoes, books (lbs.)










Paper shredding (lbs.)










Bulbs (#)










Tires (#)










Pallet recycling (#)










Mattresses/box springs (#)










Packing peanuts/pellets (cu.ft.)










Medicines/lotions (cu.ft.)










Vehicles participating










It's been a pleasure

Sitting at my desk overlooking the reconstructed stacked stone wall that used to be the border for the Old Hillsboro Pike, my mind wanders to the past and I think about the densely forested area this was. Before Columbus discovered America, bison traveling from what is now Williamson County to the salt licks on the banks of the Cumberland River created what we now know as Hillsboro Pike. Native Americans settled in and had a thriving community for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years.

I came to work at the City office in June of 2000. I secured my job the really “old- fashioned” way—I walked through the door, met the City Manager, Jim Pitman, and said he needed to hire me. After consultation with Mayor Charles Evers (and an interview), I was hired on a part-time basis. Previous to those events, I started a neighborhood watch, The Otter Creek Neighborhood Watch. It was composed of approximately 250 households and was a direct result of the scare to our area of the Wooded Rapist who was caught and subsequently imprisoned.

Prior to my duties as the City Assistant I had a variety of jobs that were appropriate for the tasks I was about to handle.

Cynthia Despot

A bachelor of science degree in political science, working for a real estate research firm in Texas, acquiring real estate licenses in both Louisiana and Tennessee, being a native Nashvillian, living in Forest Hills, and having children at Percy Priest School were all extremely helpful. Experience as a preschool teacher, being a good listener, and having patience have served me well through the years. MORE


Mayor John C. Lovell
John C. Lovell
Plan shows ways to improve our quality of life

An article in the previous newsletter dealt with updates in the City’s Comprehensive Plan that address situations posing threats to the City’s residential character. The Plan also identifies opportunities to improve our way of life in Forest Hills. More


City Manager Amanda Deaton-Moyer
Amanda Deaton-
Hall Tax elimination has significant challenges

As many of you know, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a law abolishing the Hall Tax by 2021. While the bill does not specifically address how that will be done, it is the intent of the law that the tax will decrease by 1% each year until it is totally gone. More


Henry Trost
Henry Trost
City seeks to improve Richland water quality

The hills of our City hold the distinction of being part of the headwaters of five different streams that flow though the greater Nashville area: Richland Creek, Chickering Branch, Belle Meade Branch, Sugartree Creek, and West Fork of Browns Creek. More

Vote for Commissioner on November 8

Forest Hills residents will elect a commissioner on November 8.

The seat is currently held by Vice Mayor Lanson Hyde III, who is running unopposed for reelection.

Early voting begins October 19 and runs through November 3. Deadline for registering to vote is October 11.


School’s in session — drive with caution

School is back in session, and that means extra caution is needed when traveling near Percy Priest Elementary School.

To keep school children safe and to help traffic flow, follow these guidelines.

If you are going to the school, approach from Priest Road and turn right on Otter Creek Road.

Stay on the right margin of Otter Creek as you approach the school entrance.

Park only in marked parking space. Do not park in the grass along Otter Creek.

Do not park at the entrances of Otterwood and Hounds Run.

Do not park in yards of residents who live on streets adjacent to Percy Priest.


Fletch and Bill Coke attend the awards ceremony May 4. Mayor Megan Barry congratulates inaugural winner Deborah Oeser Cox.

Metro Historical Commission honors Fletch Coke

The Metro Historical Commission presented the inaugural Fletch Coke Award at the Preservation Awards ceremony May 4.

The award was named to honor long-time Forest Hills resident Fletch Coke for her extraordinary efforts to preserve the history and historic landmarks of Nashville and Davidson County.

First recipient was Deborah Oeser Cox for her commitment to research, writing, and education.

For over forty years, the Metropolitan Historical Commission has recognized outstanding efforts to preserve Nashville’s historic architecture with its annual Preservation Awards program.

WalknBike seeks input

Nashville residents have shown growing interest in improved walking and biking opportunities.

A new project, WalknBike, is an update to Metro’s 2003 plan, the first in eight years.

“I encourage citizens to participate in this process and to work with us to ensure Nashville’s sidewalks and bikeways are safe, usable, and welcoming to people of all abilities,” said Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

This yearlong process depends on your input. Take the survey at this link to help Nashville prioritize strategic, equitable investment in sidewalks and bikeways.

Take the survey


The City has finished construction of a “landing pad” for cyclists and pedestrians at Granny White Pike and Otter Creek Road. This project completes the last leg of the multi-use path between Percy Priest School and Radnor Lake. City officials are working with Metro to provide a safe crossing of Granny White Pike.

McCrory-Mayfield owner bought historic home for the barn

Nancy Mannon never intended to buy the historic McCrory-Mayfield House, the oldest remaining dwelling in Forest Hills and one of the oldest in Davidson County.

In fact, she and her daughter, Sydney, came to look at it just to rule it out because it kept appearing in her searches for land with potential for a horse barn.

“I saw it on May 1, 2015, bought it soon after, and moved in December 1,” Nancy said. “I bought the house because of the barn,” built originally as a guesthouse.

“Sydney and I love riding,” she said. “We have a pony and a horse currently living in Leiper’s Fork until we can get the property and land ready to bring them to their new home.”

Looking for a small farm was more of a challenge than Nancy had anticipated. She experienced competition from “micro farmers” looking for small acreage, as well as developers searching for sites to build subdivisions.

The idea of the horse barn was appealing, but Nancy had reservations about the style of the house. “I love log homes; they’re great for vacations—but not to live in,” she said. To her surprise, “I walked in and loved it.”

She makes it clear that she’s there to stay. “I’m not moving again. They’ll have to take me out of here in a pine box.”

Taking up residence in a historic home has a certain charm, Nancy said. “I feel like I’m living in Night at the Museum.”

The interior of the house was mostly move-in ready, needing nothing but a couple of fresh coats of paint. The future horse barn needs some improvements, and pathways need to be created in swampy areas.

Some of the floors in the home appear to be original. In the basement, she discovered the subfloor to be wood slats all laid in a diagonal pattern, a construction practice not done in a long time. “Under the original part of the house you can see the original floor joists made from small trees,” she said. “You can still see the bark.”

A smokehouse a few steps from the original house also appears to have been built at about the same time as the home.

Built in 1798

The home traces back to owner Thomas McCrory and wife Rachel in 1798. Documented as 600-plus acres, it may have been as much as 3,000 acres.

This Thomas McCrory served under General Andrew Jackson. His father (Thomas McCrory Sr.) immigrated from Ireland and served in the 9th Regiment of the Continental Army, and his son (also named Thomas McCrory) was instrumental in the construction of Granny White Pike.

Thomas’s widow Rachel sold the property to William Carpenter, who was pastor at Johnsons Chapel—just a stone’s throw from the home site. The land likely went all the way to the Little Harpeth River along both sides of what is now Old Hickory Boulevard.

Rachel was last McCrory on record to live on the property. She is buried in a cemetery at Johnsons Chapel, and the McCrory family cemetery is located east of the church.

“I located the McCrory family cemetery but it was all overgrown,” Nancy said. “I wouldn’t have known it was a cemetery if I hadn’t been looking for it.” MORE

Nancy enters the door to what was originally the kitchen.


Pair of Texas longhorns enjoy retirement on Hillsboro Pike

For travelers who use Hillsboro Pike frequently on their commute, the handsome pair of longhorn steers are a familiar sight.

They’ve taken up residence in the field along the highway thanks to the owner of the land and Chuck Coorts, who is caretaker of property as well as caregiver and adopted parent to the cows, horses, and other assorted animals.

“A farmer in College Grove had to start selling cattle,” Chuck remembers. “We heard about it through the locals. He had these two big longhorns halter-­trained that his kids brought up to show.”

The farmer wanted to find good homes for the steers, so they decided to adopt them. “They were so gentle with that family, that we were floored by it,” he said.

Chuck has been caring for the cows for “going on nine years,” half of the years at the farm in College Grove, the other five years in the Hillsboro Pike pasture.

The larger of the two steers, Ted, liked to roam in search of companionship. “He kept jumping the fence at the old farm to be with female cows— more than once,” Chuck said.

The other longhorn, Steve, has a bigger set of horns than Ted. He likes to roam too.

“A few times in the morning I’d get up at dawn and start coffee, and they’d be standing in the front yard staring at me. So I get on the four-wheeler and put them back where they belong.”

The steers are legitimate Texas longhorns, Chuck said. They are very athletic, and can jump and run almost like horses.

“They are sweet animals. Their big horns just get in the way,” he said

That’s why Chuck encourages people not to try to pet the animals. Their big horns are dangerous.

Because of their size and athletic ability, the animals could easily jump the fence surrounding their pasture.

“They could stand on their back legs and hop over the fence, so I try to keep them happy where they are,” he said, by feeding them sweet feed every day and otherwise making sure they are contented.

“I want them to be happy to lay out there and be retired.”

Steve and Ted were born in Lewisburg and come from lines of champions. The longhorn breed originated in Texas.

“Longhorns are the most resilient animal in southwest Texas, where there is hardly any grass, and water is hard to come by,” Chuck said. The breed is hardy and relatively disease-free.

Neighbors keep an eye on the steers and notify Chuck if anything looks out of place. The playful animals frequently knock over their troughs, for example, and at least once one of them gored a barrel and got it stuck on his horn.

Chuck leads Ted to the food trough.

Giving to Goodwill is easy to do

Donating to Goodwill is a great way to clean out items around the house that are suitable for reuse.

Giving to Goodwill is easy. You can bring items to the Recycling Clean Out, take them to a convenient donation drop-off location, or arrange for a Goodwill agent to pick them up from your home.

All items should be clean and in usable condition. Goodwill is not able to accept anything that is unsafe or not in working order.

Based on IRS regulations, you may be able to include donations to Goodwill on your tax return; consult your tax advisor for details. Be sure to follow these guidelines in order to have a complete, accurate record of donations at tax time.

Make a list of the items you are donating and the date you donate them.

Keep your donation receipts.

Document the estimated value of donations. Refer to the Suggested Value chart located on the Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee website.

You can schedule a pickup at your home.

City license required for door-to-door sales

The City of Forest Hills prohibits door-to-door salespersons and solicitors from calling on residents unless they obtain a solicitor’s license before they begin.

This applies to anyone taking orders or making sales of any merchandise or service for which payment is to be made or collected. It includes persons calling door-to-door requesting charitable donations or selling merchandise for charity fundraising.

An exception is granted for Forest Hills residents who are under 18 years of age. They are allowed to call door-to-door when they are requesting donations or selling merchandise to raise funds for their school, place of worship, or other activity in which they are directly involved such as athletics or scouting.

Any adult soliciting in the City must be prepared to show an up-to-date license to the person to whom they are trying to sell, to any City official, or to any Metropolitan police officer requesting to see it.

Davidson County has similar regulations, requiring solicitors to obtain permits from the Metropolitan Clerk, valid for two years.

The Davidson County regulations do allow solicitation without permit for charitable collections, subscription sales, and book sales door-to-door.

To prevent these allowed solicitors from calling on you, register your property on the Metro “No Knock” list. Your address will remain on the registry for 365 days, and you’ll need to re-list it after a year.

You may also post a “No Trespassing” or “No Solicitation” sign visible in your yard. This prohibits all door-to-door solicitation: those with a valid permit, those not required to have a permit, and those operating illegally without a permit.


Solicitors must have a Metro permit.

Keep leaves out of drainage ditches

Do not rake loose leaves into the City’s streets, ditches, culverts, or wherever water runs.

Leaves in the street are dangerously slippery when wet.

Stormwater runoff washes loose leaves into the City’s drainage system, increasing water pollution, clogging culverts, and creating flooding problems.

Place your leaves in plastic bags and leave them at the edge of the street for monthly pickup. Do not use paper bags because they tear too easily.

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


Construction hours limited for peace and quiet

Residents have a right to peace and quiet where construction is required.

All activities are limited to Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday and holiday construction is not allowed.

Construction is defined by the Municipal Code as the erection (including excavation), demolition, alteration, or repair of any building in any area or the construction or repair of driveways or other hardscapes.

“Forest Hills is strongly committed to enforcing these regulations,” said City Manager Amanda Deaton-Moyer.

Penalties range from a first-offense warning to weeklong or indefinite stop-work orders for three or more offenses.

Report violations with:

A photo of construction with a time stamp or signed statement of when it was taken.

A report on SeeClickFix with a photo and time the picture was taken.

Residents may call the Office, and the City Manager will follow up.

City code, state law govern firearms

The Forest Hills Municipal Code makes it illegal to discharge a firearm within City limits, with a couple of exceptions for citizens.

The Municipal Code forbids firing air-powered, spring-powered, and explosive devices intended to propel an projectile.

It is legal to defend person or property, and hunting is allowed as permitted by the state of Tennessee. Anyone on their own land or who has permission from the owners, with allowed firearms and required licenses, may hunt in season anywhere in Tennessee.


The state attorney general has ruled lawful hunting as described by state law cannot be prohibited by City ordinance.

Lawful Hunting

New process prevents rust in drainage pipes

The City of Forest Hills has begun using a technique called cementious pipe lining to repair drainage pipes and prevent them from rusting.

In this process, a cement mixture is slung inside of the pipe at a high speed to line the pipe. The corrugated metal pipes are then cast with in the cement mixture. The process takes a few days.

Cementious Pike

The City has chosen this method for three reasons:

Pipe Condition. The process works best for pipes that are not yet in failing condition, but need repair. Lining them with concrete increases their useful life for several decades.

Cost. The process costs considerably less than replacing corrugated metal pipes. For example, replacing two 48-inch metal pipes and one 24-inch pipe and repairing the roadway around them costs an estimated $190,000. The cementious lining process is estimated to be less than one-half that cost.

Timing. The conventional pipe-replacement process can take up to two weeks, which extends residents’ inconvenience more than is necessary using the cementious lining.

East Ashland sees replacement, repaving

Metro Water Services has undertaken a large project replacing the water line along East Ashland Drive. Metro will be repaving a large portion of East Ashland when the construction project is complete.

The City of Forest Hills recently restored the culverts beneath the road at the intersection of Priest Road and East Ashland in preparation for Metro’s project.

Look before you lock to deter car theft

Do your part to keep criminals from stealing from cars: Park Smart.

That means more than simply locking your vehicle when you leave. Even putting valuable objects out of sight or in the trunk is not enough.

Take inside anything in the vehicle that you care about. Otherwise, you are tempting the criminals.

Make sure that the service providers who come to your home follow this rule, too. Tell them to bring tools, electronics, and purses inside with them. Anything left in a vehicle is at danger of being stolen.

Park Smart

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. Please send your interesting animal images to

Charles McKay photographed this Carolina wren with a snack.

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