Letter to Council Sponsors of Belmont Building Ordinance

August 17, 2017

Council Member Burkley Allen
Council Member John Cooper
Council Member Colby Sledge

Dear Council Members Allen, Cooper, and Sledge:

Following on recent community meetings, we are writing to restate our objection to the proposed construction of an indoor batting facility by Belmont University in E.S. Rose Park and to call for the rescindment of the associated Metro ordinance (BL2017-662).

The opposition to this proposed project within our Coalition remains strong and consistent. The lease amendment supported by BL2017-662 provides public park land to a private institution on terms far below market rate and, by allowing the construction of a two-story building on this land, irrevocably surrenders an important scenic and historic resource of our neighborhood and the city.

We are also deeply concerned about the process through which the lease amendment was advanced. The 2007 lease agreement includes a commitment to ongoing, reciprocal communication with the Edgehill community regarding the lease arrangement. Amending the lease without consultation of, or even accurate notification to, the Edgehill community clearly violates this commitment.

We value the connections between Belmont University and the Edgehill neighborhood that have developed both within and outside the framework of 2007 lease agreement. We are committed to the further development of Edgehill’s relationship with Belmont and seek in the rescinding of the lease amendment an opportunity to continue and renew this relationship on a genuinely mutual basis, working together toward truly common goals.

Above all, we seek in the rescinding of BL2017-662 an opportunity to work with Metro Parks toward a strategic plan for E.S. Rose Park that recognizes its central importance to our neighborhood’s history and future. Our Coalition is actively working with numerous city agencies in vital planning activities throughout Edgehill, and the stewardship of E.S. Rose Park is inseparable from this work of envisioning carefully, creatively, and ambitiously the future of our historic, diverse, and rapidly growing neighborhood.

Signed by Residents of Edgehill