The Metro County Council

Obviously, the Metro Council has the largest and most important role in the final decisions which get made about land use activities in Nashville. It adopts the zoning ordinance in the first place; it confirms the appointment of members to the zoning board, the planning commission, and the historic zoning commission. It ultimately must make the decisions about zone changes. It also passes on planned unit developments. The Council sits atop this land use planning pyramid; it pays to get to know your local council member if you are interested at all in the process. Click here to find a list of the members of the Council.

Each council member has a tremendous amount of power because s/he is going to control ultimately the zoning in the district. Few other council members will interfere in someone else's district, because they know that someday the show will be on the other foot and the controversial zone change will be in their district. Rather than weigh in on whatever side, most of the members of the council simply vote for whichever side the local council member supports, trusting that s/he will do the same for them when it's their turn on the hot seat.

This means however, that the local council member easily will get enough votes to pass or kill the legislation; whichever s/he wants. If the Planning Commission has recommended against a proposal, Council must pass the measure by a 2/3rds majority. If that's what the local member wants however, many more than the 27 votes needed for 2/3rds are normally available. As I say, the local council member weilds a lot of power.

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