In many neighborhoods across Nashville, developers are building two or more big homes on lots where only one house used to stand.
Now in Green Hills some neighbors are fighting to keep their street the way it is despite the developers' promises to build quality houses.
Sterling Drive in Green Hills has a lot of long-time residents like Charles Smith.
"I really like it the way it is. It's a very nice place to live. That's why I've been here for 30 years," Smith said.
He lives in a 900-square-foot home that sits across from a recently cleared lot at 2305 Sterling Rd. He and several neighbors say they don't like what's planned for that piece of property: two houses on one lot, each of them about 3,800 square feet.
"I think it changes the neighborhood. I think the size would be oppressive," said neighbor Carol Gerlach.
Chad Tuck is the real estate investor behind the project. He says the custom houses will be a good fit for the neighborhood and his parents will live in one of the houses.
"We want to build a quality home. We see these being valued in the million-dollar range," Tuck said.
Tuck is working with a builder known for in-fill houses, or new houses in existing neighborhoods.
"People want to have a nice home. They want to live in close to town. And urban planners, the way to do that is through in-fill zoning," Tuck said.
The neighbors on Sterling Road have gotten a stop-work order because the land is zoned single-family even though the house that used to be there had an apartment for a renter.
The board of zoning appeals is now being asked to decide if two homes can be built on the one lot.
This sort of conflict is happening all over Nashville as homeowners resist houses they worry will change the character of their neighborhoods.
"Sometimes you just like it the way it is, you know?" Smith asked.
Metro Councilman Sean McGuire represents the area of Green Hills and says from the research he's done, it looks like the developer is not going to be able to build.
The property had a duplex on it, but it wasn't zoned for a duplex. And because no one had lived there for quite a while, the land reverts back to its single-family designation.
McGuire says the in-fill issue is complicated and he's been studying the best way to protect the character of a neighborhood while allowing Nashville to keep growing.
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