Court Rules Against Nashville Sidewalk Ordinance

The city can no longer require developers to pay for or build sidewalks.

1 minute read

May 15, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The Sixth Circuit court ruled against the city of Nashville’s effort to require developers to build or pay for new sidewalks on their projects or pay into a city sidewalk fund, reports Gabriel Tynes in Courthouse News. “On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit ruled the city’s 2019 sidewalk ordinance leaves property owners vulnerable to unconstitutional takings under the Fifth Amendment and remanded the case for the district court to decide the appropriate remedy.”

According to Judge Eric E. Murphy, “In short, the relevant constitutional provisions on their face offer no plausible path for Nashville’s request that we adopt different takings rules for conditions imposed by different branches of government.”

The decision deals a blow to accessibility and safe streets advocates. As Tynes points out, “Nashville is among the deadliest cities in the nation for pedestrians. Despite increasing its annual capital spending on sidewalks to $30 million, the city estimates it would take 20 years to increase its sidewalk infrastructure by just 71 miles in critical areas, according to the ruling.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 in Courthouse News Service

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