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Land Use, Community Facility, and Transportation Plans

Land Use Plan

Bearden Village (MU-WC-1)
The recent past: The Bearden Village Opportunities Plan adopted in 2001 was created as a guide for public improvements and as a vision for creating a more pedestrian friendly, mixed use district. Accomplishments include:

  • The extension of the greenway trail (from Third Creek) along Sutherland Avenue to Bearden Elementary School.
  • Sidewalk/greenway improvements along Sutherland to West High School (underway 2007)
  • Transit shelter at Forest Heights Boulevard

Private sector development, rehabilitation and reuse has occurred in several parts of the corridor, although that development has largely been conventional (for example, strip shopping centers). Reuse of residential properties for office uses continues.

The Future: The “Village” actually can be characterized as having several different development forms:

  • Strip commercial uses, typically a block in depth from Kingston Pike
  • Shopping centers anchored by supermarkets with a variety of smaller stores
  • Former residential areas that are typically being converted into professional offices
  • Retail, restaurant and office mixes along the side and back streets of the district, which are a significant opportunity to be pedestrian-oriented and “village-like”

Mixed use, more pedestrian-oriented development is one solution to the reuse of older, often declining, commercial properties.

The visions of the original “Village Plan” will not be realized without:

  1. a new zoning code that allows a mix of residential, office and commercial uses (including a vertical mix of such uses) and provides the dimensional forms that address new and rehabilitated architecture, and
  2. a street system throughout the area that is pedestrian friendly (that is, sidewalks within and leading to the area).

The new zoning should include provisions for:

  • The relationship of new buildings to the sidewalk/street system
  • Parking locations that respect the pedestrian-orientation that has been envisioned (for example, a code that has off-street office parking behind or to the side of the older houses)
  • Shared parking between adjacent developments and automobile and pedestrian connections between developments
  • More flexibility in vertical mixed use throughout the area, such as residences or offices above shops

In order to reduce the heavy Kingston Pike traffic, better side street and sidewalk connections are also needed. To that end, the following are proposed:

  • An extension of Sutherland Avenue to Bearden Elementary, designed to “read” as a school access road (this will provide several alternative routes for parents to transport children without having to access Kingston Pike in front of the school)
  • A connection from Whitaker Drive to the Knox Plaza
Implementation: The Transportation Planning Organization, in conjunction with MPC and the Tennessee Department of Transportation, will be examining transportation and urban design improvements in the area east and west of the Northshore Drive and Kingston Pike intersection, including the Bearden Village area. As part of that planning process, the street and sidewalk profiles, land uses and urban design objectives should be outlined. A form-based code or similar design oriented code for land use and street development should be created.
reuse of former residential property
Reuse of former residential properties is one strategy derived from the existing Bearden Village Plan. The side-yard parking seen should be a standard codified approach for off-street parking to maintain the residential-office ambiance of the area.


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