What is being proposed?

A Neighborhood Conservation Overlay (the least restrictive of all overlays) has been proposed to the area shown below.

Why do many Edgehill residents support an overlay?

Many residents believe it is the best option we have to protect what little is left of a very historic neighborhood (180 years old).  Literally, this space on the map marked above is all that is left of historic Edgehill. On a weekly basis, homes are being purchased by investors and demolished.  Many of them have a historic architectural value that can be saved.  If the proposed overlay expansion does not have the same positive results that overlay in other historic neighborhoods throughout Nashville have had, we can always fine tune or fully repeal it.  However, until we at least try it, we will continue to lose valuable pieces of our history that can never be replaced.

The history of Edgehill listed on the Edgehill Neighborhood Coalition’s website is a great resource to learn why Edgehill’s history is worth preserving.  It can be found at The Edgehill Neighborhood Coalition’s website at edgehillcoalition.org.

How do other neighborhoods in Nashville protect their historic architecture?

There are 23 districts (and more are in the process) in Nashville that currently use some kind of zoning overlay to protect historic buildings.  The type of overlay being proposed for Edgehill is a “Neighborhood Conservation Zoning Overlay” (the least restrictive type).  The overlay guidelines being proposed are based on national standards and are nearly identical to several of those already in use by other Nashville districts.  These core guidelines are a time-tested approach that has been finely tuned over decades to best serve our Nashville community. Neighbors will collectively define the guidelines being considered for Edgehill. Links to the guidelines for every current historic/conservation overlay in Nashville can be found on the MHZC District Boundaries and Design Guidelines page.

Click here for an article by Belmont-Hillsboro Neighbors describing why a Neighborhood Conservation Overlay overlay was important to them.

How does historic zoning typically affect property values?

The overwhelming majority of quality studies show that historic districts lead to increased property values in neighborhoods of all shapes and sizes. Below are several studies supporting this conclusion. For links to these articles please email edgehillcoalition.org.

Benefits of Residential Historic District Designation for Property Owners
Historic Districts Are Good for Your Pocketbook: The Impact of Local Historic Districts on House Prices in South Carolina
Profiting From The Past: The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Georgia
Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation in Georgia, A Study of Three Communities: Athens, Rome, and Tifton
The Contributions of Historic Preservation to Housing and Economic Development
Gracing the Land of Elvis and Beale Street: Historic Designation and Property Values in Memphis 
The Making of a Historic District and the Economic Impact upon Housing Value: An Empirical Analysis of the Tree Streets Neighborhood in Johnson City, Tennessee
An Impact Study of Local Historic District Overlays on Property Values in Fayette County, KY
The Impacts of Historic District Designation in Washington, D.C
The Impact of Local Historic Designation on Residential Property Values
The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation Districts – A Case Study of Indianapolis Neighborhoods
Connecticut Local Historic Districts and Property Values
Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation
Historic Preservation and Residential PropertyValues: An Analysis of Texas Cities
The Impact of Historic Districts on Residential Property Values
The Impact of Historic District Designation on Property Values
Historic Preservation Economic Benefits Report in Colorado

How would the overlay limit what I can do with my property?

If your house is within the proposed overlay boundaries the following types of changes would require review by requesting a Preservation Permit from the Metro Historic Zoning Commission (MHZC):

  • New Construction – This includes houses, garages, large storage buildings, carports, etc.
  • Changes to Existing Structures – Only changes that are listed below and are visible from the public right of way require a Preservation Permit.
    • Additions – Increasing the footprint, height, or building envelope.  This also includes dormers, skylights, chimneys, porches, etc.
    • Demolitions – In whole or in part.
    • Relocations – Moving a large/permanent structure.
    • Setback Reductions

The following types of changes would not require review:

  • Changes not visible from the public right of way.
  • Repairs or minor changes to existing structures.  Examples include…
    • Replacing siding, windows, or doors.
    • Painting
    • Adding or replacing exterior lighting.
  • Appurtenances – Fences, walls, paving, streetlights, curb cuts, sidewalks, driveways, gravel, fountains, etc.
  • Storage Sheds – Buildings used primarily for storage that are less that 100 sq. ft., without a permanent foundation, and that are not hooked up to utilities.
  • Temporary structures without a permanent foundation that are erected for 90 days or less.
  • Signage

All the information about neighborhood conservation overlays is available at http://www.nashville.gov/Historical-Commission/Services/Preservation-Permits/Districts-and-Design-Guidelines.aspx

As currently proposed, work that requires a permit would be approved based on the guidelines listed on this site. However, that does NOT mean that adhering strictly to every guideline is required.  The MHZC often approves projects that do not strictly meet every guideline, especially in cases where the homeowners’ needs cannot be met within the guidelines.  In fact, the guidelines even explicitly state that demolishing any structure is appropriate when it will prevent an economic hardship (page 23).

The primary factor that determines how guidelines are considered for a specific structure is whether or not it is considered “contributing”.  The MHZC Handbook defines “contributing” and “non-contributing” as follows:

‘contributing’, meaning they contribute to the historic character of the district; or
‘non-contributing,’ which means that they do not contribute because of age,
condition and/or alterations.

In our neighborhood, Craftsman Bungalows and Victorian homes are typically considered “contributing”.  Homes newer than 1945 are typically considered “non-contributing”.  Many of the guidelines do not apply for “non-contributing” structures since they do not have the historical character that the overlay is intended to preserve.

If you would like to know whether or not your home is considered “contributing”, or have any specific questions about the types of changes that would or would not be approved under the overlay, Historic Zoning Administrator Robin Zeigler is always happy to answer specific answer questions via email (robin.zeigler@nashville.gov) or phone (862-7970).

 Who do I contact for additional information about Edgehill’s pursuit an overlay?

Members of the Edgehill Neighborhood Coalition are working on this project are as follows: Theo Antoniadis, Rob Benshoof, Joel Dark, Joyce Harris, Karin Kalodimos, Ronnie Miller, Joyce Searcy, Janet Shands, Pearl Sims, Andrea Sullivan, and Rachel Zijlstra. You may also email the Edgehill Coalition at edgehillcoalition@gmail.com.


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