Public Lab Research note

North Nashville: Concrete Batch Plant Rezoning Adjacent to a +50 Year Old Community

by wward1400 | February 12, 2015 00:25 12 Feb 00:25 | #11577 | #11577

The communities of North Nashville have long been considered "a dumping ground" for the city's unwanted land uses. See:

Land use decisions in this area can be determined at a glance from the aerial imagery from the 1950s prior to urban renewal:

  • two interstates bisecting and fragmenting communities
  • a present day levee-engineered business park on the South side of the Cumberland River

My summary of over 50 years of land use decisions in the North Nashville area leaves out massive upheaval of the human impact of these decisions.

Concrete is central to building a variety of structures for housing and sidewalks.

Concrete Batch Plants are central to manufacturing the amount of concrete needed to build larger structures, like bridges.

However, the scale of a concrete batch plant can impact local communities when land adjacent to long existing residential neighborhoods is selected for rezoning for industrial usage.

The impact of a concrete batch plant ranges from issues involving: dust, air quality, water quality, noise, increased traffic, vehicle safety, public safety, traffic incidents, increased road degradation, etc.

If neighborhood roads are used by concrete trucks for shortcuts, the safety of the residents of that neighborhood are impacted as well as kids needing a safe space to play basketball

What I want to do

Compare the economics of land use decisions paired with computing dollar values of intangible assets of inclusive, affordable housing near an economic engine of downtown Nashville.

Rough sketch: Rezoning the concrete batch plant delivers x growth in tax revenue with an increase of y jobs at a cost of z in the decrease of Katie Hill Neighborhood, Haynes Area, and Lock One Park community including this gem (population estimated at 4000-6000 residents) within the 37207 zip code, Nashville Metro Council District 2, census tract 127.02, 127.01.

Maintaining the current zoning will deliver x growth in tax revenue with an increase of y jobs at a cost of z to the affected Nashville Ready Mix (employees estimated at 15).

Concrete Batch Plants Cowan Street houses an industrial park that was flooded in 2010.

Vashti Street is the name for Cowan Street north of the interstate and contains numerous produce wholesalers that supply tax-generating, tourism-driven, value-adding Nashville-area food and restaurant industry.

Developing a monitoring plan for monitoring immediate current impacts, involving a sensor network for monitor air quality, water quality, traffic, and tax revenue.

  • Air Quality: Air Quality Egg and Dustduino,
  • Water Quality: Riffle/PhotosynQ upstream/downstream of Pages Branch & Cumberland River
  • Traffic Studies: DIY Traffic Counters, City Lab
  • Aerial imagery: Generate high resolution imagery of proposed concrete batch plant parcels and Katie Hill Neighborhood.
  • Raise funds through environmental justice grants and community associations.

    My attempt and results

    Getting started. Attending neighborhood and community meetings. Obtaining support.

    Questions and next steps

    Most of my questions are based on

    • What are the impacts of increased heavy truck traffic in an area with elevation changes?
    • What are the safety impacts on neighborhood children losing their current play space and impromptu basketball courts?
    • What are the types of dust generated from concrete batch facility?
    • What changes to intangible resources like the viewshed from Katie Hill when an 85 foot Concrete Batch Tower is located near the houses on the hilltop and valley housing around Baptist World Center Drive?
    • What are the air quality impacts and physics of dust expelled from an 85 foot tower?
    • What plans are being developed for dust abatement?
    • Why I'm interested

      Historic land use in 37207 & 37208 area codes are suspected of having higher per capita usage of LULU land uses and industrial uses.

      **Work in progress


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