The Board of Commissioners is an administrative body charged with setting policy for the City of Forest Hills by enacting ordinances. The Board consists of three Commissioners, who are elected at large. Members serve in four-year, staggered terms. At the first regular meeting after each biennial election, the Board elects one of its members to serve a two-year term as Mayor and one member to serve as Vice Mayor. Meetings
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DEC 2017 THE YEAR 2017, as with most years, has had its share of changes and challenges:
Personnel: In March our City Manager of four years left to accept a position with Metro Water Services. Replacing someone with experience and institutional knowledge is always a challenge, but the City was fortunate to fill the vacancy by May 1 with the hiring of Amanda Rhinehart.
Amanda brought with her four years of experience as planning and development director for Shelbyville and has already applied that experience to improve our zoning ordinances and enforcement.
We are all familiar with the building phenomenon whereby an older, relatively modest, ranch-style home disappears and is replaced with a large, taller and (inevitably) white one. Reacting to residents’ concerns the City’s Board of Commissioners and Planning Commission made changes to the Zoning Ordinance that would allow for new construction which would blend as harmoniously as possible with the existing neighborhood character. Amanda and City Assistant Jamie Dupré have installed a new building permit tracking system (IWORQ) which allows for comprehensive tracking and a history of all building permits associated with a particular property.
Forest Hills is over fifty years old, which puts pressure on our streets and drainage systems. We have a 10-year paving schedule—updated annually—which allows us to pave at the most cost-effective “sweet spot” in a street’s life. In addition, we have a program of asphalt rejuvenation that extends the life of a street at a financial benefit several times greater than its cost.
In addition to scheduled paving, the City has let a contract with two firms for miscellaneous road and drainage projects. These projects are awarded on a case-by-case basis, which gives the City flexibility to assign a specific project to the firm best suited in terms of cost and experience. It also allows for a high level of responsiveness in case of emergencies.
The Hall Tax—our single largest source of revenue—continues to go away. Fortunately, it will be several more years before it disappears entirely; the City has adequate funds to continue to provide services for several years after that. For over a year we have been in discussions with Metro government to try to reconcile the fact that Forest Hills residents pay property taxes at the same rate as other residents in the General Services District but, unlike them, do not receive public works services such as street maintenance, chipper service, snow removal, etc. The City is looking to continue these discussions as well as exploring other avenues to remedy this unfair situation.
As always, the Commissioners seek and appreciate your input on matters large and small important to you and to the City. We hope to see more of you at our monthly meetings and offer our best wishes for a happy holiday season.
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You may have noticed the construction on the Bethel World Outreach Church campus at the intersection of Granny White Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard. The Church applied for and received the permits for an expansion of its main facility.
What you may not have known is that on March 25, the City of Forest Hills became aware that Bethel had requested an additional special permit to build a three-story, 36,000 square foot office building on the Granny White side of their campus right across from Forest Hills residents’ homes and 45 feet off the property line of Dorset Park.More
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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. Additionally, our hills feed two other streams flowing through our borders: Otter Creek, and another unnamed tributary to the Little Harpeth River. All of these waterways, like all streams around Nashville, are part of the Cumberland River watershed.More
DEC 2017 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.
Parking. With holidays coming up, remember that our parking policy applies to residents as well as contractors/service personnel. Emergency vehicles must be able to navigate through our streets.
Parking or stopping on City roads, streets, or rights-of-way is prohibited in these cases:More
The Planning Commission is appointed to create and update the City's comprehensive plan and to regulate land use with zoning codes. Meetings
Planning Commission member Blair Myers and his wife Kelli moved to Forest Hills about 14 years ago for the same reasons as many new residents. They were ready to leave their quarter-acre lot with neighbors 15 feet away in the busy Vanderbilt/West End area for the bigger yards and quieter neighborhoods found here.
“We had just had our first child, and we wanted a little more space to raise a family,” Myers said. “We moved to Stonehaven Drive and have lived in three different houses in Forest Hills. We’ve finally settled on Lynnwood Boulevard just south of Tyne.”
The Board of Zoning Appeals is appointed to make administrative decisions related to the zoning ordinance and to rule on requests for variances and special exceptions. Meetings
The weekend that Jim Littlejohn moved into Forest Hills is etched into his memory, but not just because he was moving into a new home. It was 1985—the year the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl.
“I remember we had televisions turned on all over the house while we were moving in,” Jim says. “I grew up outside Chicago, so I had always followed the Bears.”
Littlejohn came to Nashville in 1972 to attend Vanderbilt University and stayed after graduating. His first job after college was with Gresham and Smith, which involved “commuting” between Nashville and Charleston, S.C., from 1980 to 1982. “I was here every month for meetings, so I never really felt like I left.”More