The 12South Neighborhood Association Board of Directors would like to provide some clarity regarding our purposes and processes as a board, our position regarding online communication with residents and members of 12SNA, and our perspective on continuing development in 12South.
These are the purposes of the 12SNA as expressed in its bylaws:
The Association’s purpose is to promote the common welfare of all residents of the area
commonly known as the 12South Neighborhood and defined more specifically in
Exhibit A to these bylaws, by promoting community, beautification, public safety,
environmental conservation, historic preservation, appropriate development, zoning
and codes compliance, and cooperation with business, charitable, religious, and
Our responsibility to the residents of the 12South neighborhood is made clear in the
bylaws. The extent to which the 12SNA Board can reflect the will of the neighborhood about specific issues is less clear. The 12South neighborhood encompasses thousands of residents, and no one petition or measure of public opinion about a specific issue can capture the collective will of the neighborhood. The Board gathers information about neighborhood sentiment through a variety of sources including but not limited to: input at regular meetings of the board and the association, online discourse created by residents including emails to the association, informal conversations, and public petitions.
We understand ourselves to be an elected panel of representatives of neighborhood
residents. As elected representatives, we take seriously our obligation to remain
informed about urban planning, research on development impact, and city planning
goals. We make decisions based not only on the expressed will of neighborhood
residents who make their opinions known but also on available information about the potential impact of proposed developments, about applicable city codes and regulations, and about the role of the 12South neighborhood in the growth of the city of Nashville as a whole, which include the guidelines in the 2008 Detailed Neighborhood Design Plan (DNDP).
The 12SNA Board thus understands its role as follows:
1. To gather information through various means about the sentiments of residents
regarding neighborhood issues.
2. To promote constructive discussion about neighborhood issues among the
various stakeholders, which include residents, property owners, city planners,
business owners, and developers.
3. To form and express positions about neighborhood issues that are informed by
the sentiments of residents, by the applicable city codes and regulations, by the
goals of city planners and the DNDP, by the proposals of developers, and by
knowledge of urban planning research.
We have pursued these goals through the administration of a neighborhood survey,
through public meetings, by following public discussion, including online forums, and
through study of city planning research, including the 2008 DNDP and the proposed
Urban Design Overlay for 12South.
Although much neighborhood discussion takes place on the 12South Google group, the
12SNA does not administer that group and it is NOT the official voice of the association.
12SNA cannot ensure the accuracy of information disseminated through the 12S Google
group, Nextdoor 12 South, or any other open access listserv. While such listservs are an
indication of some residents’ opinions, it is not a reliable indicator of the breadth or
depth of all residents’ positions. Official communications of the 12SNA are sent to
members via the email account (12Southna@gmail.com), quarterly newsletters and
postings on the www.12South.org website.
We are in the midst of a period of extraordinary change in Nashville, and 12South is, in
some ways, at the epicenter of that change. The board’s most important role in that
change is to facilitate discussion among the stakeholders involved. We also
understand that such discussion may not result in an outcome that is viewed favorably
by all concerned.
The central avenue that residents have to affect the pace and character of change in
12South is to become part of the process of discussion. Recent proposed developments
have been the focus of productive discussion, often in multiple meetings, in which
developers, property owners and neighbors have operated in good faith to share
opinions and perspectives. In almost every case, plans for proposed developments have
changed as a result, although perhaps not as significantly as some would like. But the
point remains that stakeholders have had the opportunity to engage in a productive
process, and the 12SNA board has done what it can to facilitate that.
Continued development in 12South is inevitable, but the expectation that developers
benefit from engaging with neighbors about their plans is firmly set, and that is to be
celebrated. For this to continue, we all need to operate with respect and civility and with
the understanding that the outcome may not always be what we desire. We urge all
neighbors to be a part of the process as our area continues to grow and change, as this is
the central way that we can contribute to the future of 12South as a vibrant and livable
One part of that process is the community meetings held every other month on the
second Tuesday of the month at the Sevier Park Community Center. The next such
meeting is Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 PM. We urge you to attend and to add your voice to
the discussion of the future of our shared neighborhood.
The 12South Neighborhood Association Board of Directors