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News from the City of Forest Hills

East Ashland road work
begins January 11

Metro Water Services begins a project to replace water lines along East Ashland to upgrade existing infrastructure starting January 11.

Construction will be from East Ashland at Otter Creek Road to just before Robert E. Lee Drive. Maplemere, Priest Road, and Ash Valley will also be impacted.

Every effort will be made to minimize disruptions to residents in the area and through traffic during the construction period; however, some inconveniences cannot be avoided.

Residents can expect lane closures and limited road closures, the presence of heavy equipment, and some noise and dust associated with construction activities.

East Ashland

Water service interruption should be limited, and Water Services will notify residents if outages are expected.

You are encouraged to avoid this area if possible and if not possible, use extreme caution. Thank you for your patience as Metro Water makes this infrastructure improvement.

Download map

Jamie Dupré new City Assistant

The City welcomes Jamie Dupré, the new City Assistant.

“We look forward to working with Jamie, and we know she will provide our residents and vendors with the high level of service they deserve,” Mayor John Lovell said.

Jamie began work on November 14.

Hyde re-elected Commissioner

Lanson Hyde III has been re-elected to a four-year term as Commissioner of the City of Forest Hills.

Hyde has served on the Board of Commissioners since 2011 when he was appointed to fulfill an unexpired term. He was elected to a four-year term in 2012, and has been Vice Mayor since 2014.

Hyde was unopposed in the November 8 election.


Mayor John C. Lovell
John C. Lovell
Changes, challenges leave their mark on the City

The City has seen its share of changes and challenges in 2016: Elimination of the Hall Tax, a City building boom, updates to Zoning Code, new faces, and citizen involvement. More


City Manager Amanda Deaton-Moyer
Amanda Deaton-
Staying safe with Neighborhood Watch

We want each and every one of our neighbors to fully enjoy the benefits of living in a safe community. To that end, we’re beginning a City-Wide Neighborhood Watch effort. More


Angie Henderson
Angie Henderson
Natural resources, taxes top citizen issues

This fall marks my first year in office on the Metro Council representing and serving District 34, which includes the entire City of Forest Hills. It has been a busy year legislatively.More

Pilar and Lanson Hyde

Pilar and Lanson hike along the Hiwassee River near Reliance, Tennessee.

Vice Mayor Hyde has deep roots in Forest Hills

Lanson Hyde III’s roots in Forest Hills run perhaps deeper than most. He’s actually raising his family in the same home on Old Hickory Boulevard where he grew up.

“About 12 years ago my father moved nearby to the Inns of Granny White,” Lanson said, and he and his wife Pilar decided it was the perfect opportunity to move their two young sons into more open space.

“It was great for the boys,” he said. “Our first house was on Woodmont Boulevard, and that was just too busy when the kids got big enough to play outside. Here we’re so secluded from other houses and roads, another house is not even in view,” as a result of being surrounded by large tracts of undeveloped land.

That undeveloped land led Lanson to get involved with the City of Forest Hills several years ago. “We had some aggressive developers next to us trying to implement really irresponsible development. They wanted to develop five lots into 14 lots on the side of a steep hill. They didn’t understand the challenges of soil conditions or the character of Forest Hills,” Hyde said. “We showed up in opposition to every variance and every attempt at subdividing the property, and ultimately were successful.”

Hyde and other nearby neighbors helped convince the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, and the Board of Commissioners that the planned project would be a nightmare for the City, not just the neighborhood.

Shortly after that in 2008, then- mayor Bill Coke contacted Hyde and told him about a vacancy on the BZA, Coke told him his ideas on the future of the City fit with the Commissioners’ views. Lanson said yes, and served on the BZA until Commissioner Tim Douglas stepped down in 2011 and Hyde agreed to fulfill Douglas’s unexpired term.

Hyde was reelected in 2012 and 2016, and has been Vice Mayor since 2014.

Setting the City’s priorities

Lanson said he thinks the Board of Commissioners plays an important role in helping the City maintain its character.

“The Board of Commissioners sets the tone for the City’s priorities,” he said. “That’s important to ensure that we don’t let new development get out of control.”

Hyde said he is pleased with the guidelines in place to protect the future of the City. “We’ve layered in controls through ordinances so that only responsible development can go forward. We have controls over density, size, setbacks, and other factors to maintain the feel and character of neighborhoods.”

The challenge, he said, is striking the balance between controlling development and allowing home owners flexibility to enjoy their property. “We can’t be too rigid in setting standards.”

Another important function of the Board of Commissioners is to recruit residents to serve on a volunteer basis on the City’s boards and committees. “We spend a lot of time and energy making sure we have good people who share the right vision for the City—basically a vision in keeping with the City’s goals and comprehensive plan,” he said.

A third crucial role of the Board of Commissioners, Hyde said, is to ensure sound financial management. “We run the City like a business, and we generally run it in the black,” he said. “Through careful capital planning, managing reserves, and making fiscally sound moves, we try to be good stewards of the City’s resources.”

Lanson is also pleased with the success of the City’s twice-a-year Recycling Clean Out Day, which has grown consistently since its implementation in 2012. “I’m happy that we are doing our part for the environment and adding a convenient service for our residents,” he said.

He may be most pleased with the fairly recent hire of the City Manager Amanda Deaton-Moyer. Commissioners went through an exhaustive, multi-state search of candidates and settled on Amanda, Hyde says. “I think we got that hire just right, and having Amanda in there with her capabilities and personality has allowed the City to reach another level of performance and overall resident satisfaction.”

Hyde is a founding partner and chief operations officer of Surgical Development Partners, which develops and manages hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. His wife Pilar teaches early childhood development at First Presbyterian Church Early Preschool.

Continental romance

Lanson and Pilar, a native of the south of Spain, met in Italy where Lanson was living after college. He stayed in Europe a couple years longer than he planned to, courting Pilar. Finally he convinced her to come to Nashville, which she liked and decided was a good place to raise a family.

Her family visits once or twice a year, and she and their sons spend at least a month in Spain every summer. Lanson usually gets to join them for a couple of weeks, about every other year.

Their older son John is a freshman at Montgomery Bell Academy, and younger son Matthew is a seventh grader there. The family enjoys watching the boys participate in sports, camping, particularly in the Smokies, and fly fishing. Lanson enjoys volunteer work with charities and non-profits. He is currently excited about the work Friends of Kellytown is doing with the creation of a new Metro park contiguous to Forest Hills.

trees of Forest HIlls

Part of the beauty that draws people to the City and continues to hold their hearts is contained right within the name “Forest Hills.”

The soft sweeping hillsides and sometimes rugged ridges adorned by a diverse mix of hardwoods and evergreen trees create a backdrop for the quality of life Forest Hills residents treasure.

“Trees give structure to your property and become a part of your home, bringing aesthetic as well as monetary value,” City Arborist Parke Brown said. “People attach great meaning to planting a tree and watching it grow.”

Parke Brown

Parke Brown

Nurturing a tree creates a relationship to the land, Brown believes. “You become part of it. It means something when it starts to grow. Trees become part of the family.”

Parke pointed out that many young families choose Forest Hills and watch trees mature as their own youngsters grow. “Sometimes new home owners will begin a ‘family’ of trees in the yard, just like starting a family of children.”

Besides the practical benefits of trees, Brown also sees a more spiritual and romantic side. “They provide a reminder of the past and a look ahead to the future. They add honor and dignity to our lives.” A favorite tree in the yard can have memories attached to it, long after you’ve moved away, he said.

Some people have a very personal relationship to their trees. Parke remembers a married couple who named two of their trees after each other when they moved into their new home.

“They were always calling the trees by name when they talked about them. ‘Jenny looks like she has some new growth coming out. Johnny is a little droopy; maybe he needs water,’ ” Brown said.

Trees stand the test of time and put life events in perspective. “They reflect the circle of life and remind us that time moves very quickly in hindsight,” Parke said. “They stand as an inheritance, letting you leave something behind that outlives you and continues to provide beauty.”

We can gain valuable lessons from trees, Brown believes. “Trees teach us about people,” he said. “A tree doesn’t have to be the biggest or strongest or have the largest leaf. All have their own value and contributions.”

Commemorate your big trees

You can commemorate your favorite trees with the help of these groups.

Now through April, look for nominees for the Nashville Tree Foundation’s Big Old Tree Contest. This 2015 winner is a southern red oak on Otter Creek Road. Entry form

Metro Beautification’s historic and specimen tree program lets you legally protect significant trees on your land. More info

Tennessee Urban Forestry Council certifies your home as a tree sanctuary. More info

City plans cherry tree corridors

You may be eligible for street trees in front of your home along the City right-of-way. Contact City Hall for more details.

Now is a good time to plant

This is also a great time to plant your own trees. They’ll survive and thrive if you plant during cooler temperatures from now through February.


The threshold for healthy streams in any given area is 10% impervious surfaces. Forest Hills is just at the threshold.

City's Clean Water Initiative targets Richland Creek

A meeting on the Clean Water Initiative in Forest Hills, focusing on cleaning up the quality of water that runs through the City and ends up in Richland Creek, was held Tuesday night, October 25.

The program was led by Cumberland River Compact with executive director Mekayle Houghton and staff members Will Caplenor and Jed Grubbs. They presented interactive, solutions-oriented sessions.

The urban setting of this watershed means the negative human impacts can be high. Both urban and rural streams are impaired by contaminants including:

Pathogens such as E. coli, usually from animal waste and sewer or septic system failures.

Excess sediment due to increased runoff from degraded or developed land.

Excess nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen from over-fertilized lawns or agricultural fields.

Urban and rural streams also suffer from loss of riparian (streamside) vegetation, as a result of development or overgrazing. Riparian vegetation can act as a buffer, limiting how much runoff reaches streams directly and helping reduce pollution and erosion.

CRC representatives are available to talk to neighborhood groups, homeowners associations, and garden clubs about action steps to preserve stream quality.

Cumberland River Compact

Stormwater pollution solutions: How to protect our watershed

The City’s hills are part of the headwaters of five different streams. Here’s how you can help keep our watershed clean.

• Plant a rain garden. Building a rain garden using native trees and grasses lets runoff soak into the ground to alleviate erosion and flooding.

• Limit fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing your lawn, and choose a non-phosphorous solution to protect waterway nutrients.

• Service your septic system every three years.

• Avoid pesticides. Storms can wash them into nearby streams. Investigate biological pest control.

• Pick up pet waste.

• Buffer streams. Plant native trees and plants to filter stormwater runoff.

• Use commercial car washes that filter their water.

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

Hassan Mirsaidi on a mission to promote outdoor activities

To Hassan Mirsaidi, hiking is more than just a hobby. To him, it’s a grand mission that brings a gleam to his eye.

“I tell people, give me two hours a week, and you will be healthier than you’ve ever been.”

The Forest Hills resident says people who claim to be too busy to take time out for themselves should assign a higher priority to getting outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and nature. “I say, think about you,” he said. “You are the most important thing on this earth,” so spending a couple hours a week to recharge should be a simple decision.

Hassan leads and participates in hikes and paddling trips organized by Nashville Hiking Meetup and encourages people of all ages and fitness levels to join in the guided expeditions.

“I do a lot of hiking at Radnor, Smith, and Warner Parks,” he said, referring to Radnor Lake State Natural Area, Marcella Vivrette Smith park in Brentwood, and Metro’s Percy and Edwin Warner Parks. Most of the hikes he leads last from about 8;30 to 10:30 a.m., with options to make the trek less strenuous for novice hikers.

He also leads paddle trips via canoe or kayak. Recent trips included paddling around Percy Priest Lake to the dam and back, and going roundtrip from downtown Nashville to the Opryland complex.

“I go out in all kinds of weather,” Mirsaidi said. “I’ve even been kayaking in the snow.” The only problem? “The snow got heavy,” he chuckles.

One of his most memorable hiking excursions took him to Machu Picchu, an Incan citadel high in the Andes Mountains in Peru. His body was in for a few shocks, long before he ever hit a hiking trail.

“I knew in my mind that traveling below the equator would be a different experience, but my body never expected the drastic change. I left New York and the temperatures were in the mid-90s. After landing at the Lima airport, when we got to Machu Picchu the temperature was 34 degrees.

“The brain accepts it, but the body doesn’t want to wear four layers when it has just left summer temperatures,” he said. Another adjustment: letting go of your previously held concept that weather will get warmer as you travel farther south.

Mirsaidi hiked two major trails while in Peru, the Larka trail and the Inca trail to the Machu Picchu site. The Larka trail rose up to 5,000 meters—about 17,000 feet—and the thin air made hiking for extended distances difficult.

“The trail was not strenuous. I would see something up ahead that was not that far, but I couldn’t go without stopping because I had no leg strength,” he said.

He spent nights in a tent while on the hike. He didn’t mind sleeping through the rain, though one night a wind storm was uncomfortable. And he found that sleeping in the snow is actually a nice experience. “That was the best night for sleeping because the snow made good insulation.”

Seeing the Machu Picchu site was an incredible experience. Mirsaidi was struck by the intricate stonework used by the Incas to make use of terraces for agriculture. “Every little spot, some of the just 10 by 20 feet, had a terrace built to grow something in that rich soil.”

The rewards of making a tough trek outweigh the hardships, Hassan says. “You test your own strength when you go up into the mountains,” he said.

Hassan Mirsaidi

Hassan Mirsaidi visits Machu Picchu in Peru.

“The air is thin but the weather is so pleasant, nothing ever made me uncomfortable. I never said, ‘I don’t want to do this again.’ ”

Hiking to Machu Picchu was a monumental achievement for Mirsaidi. “It’s something I was proud of. The feeling you have when you get there . . . it’s gratifying.”

Hassan traces his love for hiking back to his youth, growing up in Iran. He explained that the countryside of Iran changes as one travels south to north, from the oil-rich deserts in the south to the mountainous region north near Tehran, where he grew up. “I always loved to go the mountains to hike,” he said.

And that love has led him on his quest to improve the health and quality of life of those around him through simple exposure to the outdoors.

“We spend so much money on insurance, doctors, drugs, all those things,” he said. “I wish we would put a little bit of time into hiking. If you look at people who hike, you see how little they spend on doctors and medications.”

The long-term impact would bring down the costs associated with health care and insurance, Mirsaid said. “Give me two hours a week and I will improve your life.” He encourages people to enjoy the time they devote to the outdoors. “Do it for your own self,” he urges.

Resident since 1994

Hassan has lived in Forest Hills since he built his home here in 1994. A mechanical engineer, he envisioned how the completed home would look when he saw the steep hillside lot on Beddington Park Drive. “I looked around and saw all the hills, enjoyed the view, and pictured this house here. I plan to live here and retire.”

Mirsaidi built the house by constructing a series of “steps” into the hillside, the first 20 feet deep, then 35 feet deep, then 50 feet deep to accommodate the first, second, and third floors. The structure is surrounded by a foot of concrete around its perimeter, with a 27-foot retaining wall in front and five 12-foot retaining walls in back.

Hassan shares the home with his mother Fatima and his girlfriend Donna, whom he met—appropriately—while hiking. They enjoy spending time outdoors together.

He said they love living in Forest Hills because of its quiet beauty. “We have a place here that people travel a long way to get,” he said. “I hope we keep it this way as long as we can.”

Mirsaidi works professionally designing government projects including low-income housing. He came to Tennessee to attend Tennessee Tech University before graduating from Tennessee State University.

Help fund Forest Hills: Write in ‘1904’ on tax form

The only way for the City to get its fair share of Hall Tax revenues is for every affected 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

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 sent this spider in its web.


Drive carefully around utility work

As you drive through Forest Hills, be aware of potentially hazardous conditions caused by utility work.

For these providers to upgrade service, they must change the height of poles and quality of lines. The new guy (Google) must wait for Comcast and AT&T, whose cables are already attached, to make room.

Because the work is being done on the poles, not on the ground, it does not require a Forest Hills permit.

utility work

The City Manager is monitoring work sites to ensure utility workers are maintaining safe traffic conditions.

Next Recycling Clean Out April 8; fall sets new record

Mark your calendar for the next Recycling Clean Out, April 8 at Forest Hills City Hall.

You can recycle all your electronics, scrap metal, donated goods, batteries, bulbs, expired medications, and more.

The October Clean Out set a new record with 330 households. Residents recycled more than eight tons of materials.


Recycled Items


Spring 13


Spring 14


Spring 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











Street salting, snow plowing follow priority list

In the event of winter precipitation, 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 Road

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

Don’t let coyotes become used to urban surroundings

Urban coyotes will feed on almost anything including garbage, pet food, small cats and dogs, and wild animals such as rodents, skunks, raccoons, and birds.

Many well-meaning residents have promoted an unnatural boldness in coyotes by intentionally or unintentionally feeding them. This has encouraged coyotes to become accustomed to the sights, sounds, and scents of humans. As a result, coyotes will come up on porches and decks if food is regularly present.


These tips from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will help discourage coyotes from taking up residence in your yard.

Do not feed coyotes! When coyotes begin associating humans with food, they lose their natural fears and may become dangerous.

Secure garbage containers. Use trash cans with lids that clamp down tightly and stay closed even when tipped over.

Feed pets indoors whenever possible. Remove any leftovers if feeding outdoors.

Store pet food in tightly closed containers in areas not accessible to other animals.

Do not leave small children outside alone if coyotes have been frequenting the area.

Do not allow pets to run free, especially after dark. Provide secure housing at night. Small pets (cats, rabbits, small dogs) are favorite prey of coyotes.

Discourage coyotes from frequenting your area. Harass them by throwing rocks, shouting, and making loud noises when you see one.

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