Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Council members may try to stop Music Row seizure

By CHAS SISK • Staff Writer(Tennessean) • July 22, 2008 The Metro Council may take up debate on whether eminent domain should be used to seize a Music Row property under a proposal now being drafted. At least two council members have asked the council’s attorney to draw up a bill meant to put a stop to eminent domain proceedings against Joy Ford, the owner of a small record label and music publishing business. The bill would eliminate the redevelopment district that includes Ford’s property at 23 Music Circle E., said Michael Craddock, who represents the city’s fourth district in North Nashville. Craddock said he was briefed on the bill’s contents by Jon Cooper, the council’s attorney, when he contacted Cooper to discuss ways the Metro Council could stop the eminent domain proceedings against Ford. Cooper told him such a bill had already been requested, Craddock said. Because he is not the bill’s sponsor, Craddock did not know when — or if — it would be brought before the council. Cooper confirmed that he had been contacted by more than one council member to discuss Ford’s situation, but he said he was bound by confidentiality rules from discussing the bill’s contents until its sponsor is prepared to introduce it. By Craddock’s account, the bill would appear to remove one of the underpinnings for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency’s petition to take Ford’s property through eminent domain. The MDHA argues that Ford’s property can be considered blighted because it lies within a redevelopment district. That district was created nine years ago to spur a turnaround in the area at the northern end of Music Row, but Ford has repeatedly turned down offers to sell her property to developers.

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