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New Pegram org resisting town’s zoning ordinance 

A new organization in Pegram was created by residents of the town’s Dreamland Estates neighborhood – who wanted to work to preserve both the culture and environment of the town, allowing it to grow strategically and sustainably. 


“We are concerned as Davidson County continues to grow that the development is going to be haphazard and not strategic,” Pegram Preservation Association president, Miranda Christy Montgomery, said. “What we love about Pegram is the small town feel, the feeling that you know all your neighbors – that it's a small community.” 


According to Montgomery, the group formed earlier this year when they learned of a new ordinance the Town of Pegram passed in August 2023. The zoning ordinance now allows special exceptions for the construction of for-profit commercial development in all Pegram neighborhoods. 


“We started because we got wind of – or we discovered – this ordinance was passed,” she said. “We feel like there is a space for dialogue around how – do we want to grow? What do we want our town center to look like? Instead of one person or a couple people in the leadership getting to decide that they have a pet project that they want to put through.” 


Montgomery continued, “We did not realize that this ordinance had been passed and we want to raise awareness among the entire city of Pegram that this could happen not just in one particular neighborhood, but in any residentially zoned district of the city of Pegram.” 


“Someone who wants to install a for-profit recreational center or gymnasium, or something along those lines, all they have to do is apply for an exception and it could happen,” the organization’s leader said. 


Montgomery explained that the Pegram Preservation Association is still building out its leadership, but that currently its board of directors consists of six residents from the Dreamland Estates neighborhood off of Hwy 70. 


“Originally, when we formed the Pegram Preservation Association, Inc. as a legal entity, it was honestly for the purpose of being able to receive contributions from our neighbors so that we can pay for a lawyer to fight this,” Montgomery said. 


“But as we started meeting, we've started feeling like wow, this entity might have a life of its own. It's probably going to have a life of its own that goes beyond what this project is and what our neighborhood is,” she said. The Montgomery family has lived in Pegram since the 1990s. 


“We're all committed to trying to be a party that is invested in the dialogue of what's best. What do we all want? What's best for the city? And this is just one project,” she said. 


As its first order of business, the association is looking to halt the construction of an indoor baseball facility in Pegram’s Dreamland Estates neighborhood. Howington Construction bought the land that sits on the 26 acre parcel between Cheatham and Davidson County, and is looking to build a large indoor recreation center. 


The group argues that projects proposed under Pegram’s new Ordinance 2023-158 will decrease residential home values in the area; create traffic and safety issues; and adversely affect Pegram’s diverse and rich wildlife. 


“Ordinance 2023-158 was passed by Pegram's leadership to give one of Pegram's aldermen the ability to construct a ‘for-profit’ development project in Pegram's zoned residential areas. Since the ordinance passed, he has made several applications to move forward with the project. So far each attempt has been thwarted by citizens, but this fight is just beginning,” the group said.


The Pegram Preservation Association had its first small victory in the dispute Tuesday night, at a meeting of the Cheatham County Commission. 


Because the contested plot of land sits on the Cheatham-Davidson County line, Howington Construction requested for the Commissioners to move the county line, so the entire parcel sits in Pegram. However, during the meeting, the association (joined by additional 10 neighbors), voiced their concerns about any proposed changes to this parcel and what the impact would be for the surrounding community. 


Some of the Commissioners shared their views, and it was determined that they did not wish to pursue the matter further. Meaning, because the county line will not be moved, Howington Construction will have to go through the applicable process for Davidson County as well as the City of Pegram to continue with the project. 


The Town of Pegram’s Board of Zoning Appeals was originally slated to take up the issue during its Feb. 12 meeting, but it was canceled due to an error with the legal notice’s parcel number. It is unclear whether the land set to hold the for-profit recreational center will be on the Planning Commission’s agenda for its next meeting on March 11. 


“As Nashville continues to grow, there will be more and more pressure to develop Pegram’s landscape,” the association said. “We have to decide if we want haphazard commercial development or strategic and thoughtful growth for our community.”

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