Wednesday, March 8, 2023

A smaller city council may be better for Nashville

Right now, with 40 members, the Nashville City Council organizes itself by practicing "council-manic courtesy," by deferring to whatever each local council member wants.  

This organizational form has likely contributed to our very restrictive (low density) zoning, as the local council members are concerned only about what goes on in their narrow slice of Nashville.  Expanding each council member's area of concern might change this.  Here's how: higher density zoning in one area would expand supply and bring down prices in all of Nashville, which would benefit renters and potential buyers all over the city.  As such, it might generate some principled support for higher-density zoning (as opposed to narrow, self-interested opposition to development).

If so, the State Legislature which passed a law limiting council size to 20 (Tennessean) may end up helping Nashville.

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