The “micro home village” would include 22 tiny homes about 220 square feet each.
The Metro Board of Zoning Appeals approved a building permit in May, saying places of worship are protected by federal and state laws from zoning rules. But neighbors insist that because the project will be run by Open Table Nashville, a separate nonprofit group, zoning rules should apply.
“Neighbors didn’t really have any notice this was happening,” Jessica Van Dyke, who lives near the church, told NewsChannel 5. “It was forced on us and we were told after the fact.”
The lawsuit was filed against the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals, Glencliff United Methodist Church, the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Bill McAlilly.
Attorney Andrew Preston issued a statement on behalf of the church, conference and bishop stating that the “lack of housing is a very serious issue in Nashville and the church has decided to answer the biblical call to love our neighbor by providing safe and supportive shelter to some of our city’s most vulnerable.” Open Table Nashville also issued a statement saying the nonprofit is confident the matter will be resolved.
Open Table Nashville is a progressive group that endorses the idea of housing being a human right. Its Facebook page is promoting an appearance by Van Jones in Nashville on Aug. 15 as part of his “We Rise” tour. Jones is a CNN political commentator who was green jobs adviser to former President Obama. He resigned his post because of Republican protests about his roots in radical politics, past affiliation with 9/11 conspiracy theorists and for calling Republicans “a**holes” in a video before his appointment. He is a native of Jackson, Tennessee.