Rezoning on Concord Road, Stormwater codes, and Brentwood City Commission Updates

Rezoning, Stormwater, and Fire Station 5

Summer is winding down, but the business of Brentwood Tennessee is winding up as we start getting into the days of Fall. It seems that everywhere we look, there is something going on right now. Construction on Franklin Road is making progress, and we are continuing to work to keep Brentwood a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

In August and September, your Brentwood City Commission is looking at a number of community issues including a 1-acre per lot neighborhood at the Southeast corner of Concord Road and Franklin Road, updates to code to help minimize stormwater impact by new construction, groundbreaking on our new Fire Station, and investment in equipment for our Brentwood Police.

As always, your perspective and feedback is very important to me, and I want to encourage you to contact me at either if it’s not “on fire” and 615-917-1384 (voice or text) if it is.

Sincere thanks to the many friends and professionals who contribute the process of putting this newsletter. I think keeping people informed is vital to good governance, and “it takes a village” to do the job properly. I try to consistently link to source material, but please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.


Ground Breaking on Fire Station 5

  • The City of Brentwood will hold a small ground-breaking ceremony for Fire Station 5 on Friday, September 10th.
  • Our new Fire Station, located at 9551 Split Log Road, will improve response times and service on the fast-growing south east side of Brentwood.
  • You can find a lot more information at City of Brentwood Online.

Anna neighborhood proposed for the Southeast corner of Concord Road and Franklin Road

Brentwood City Commission has been asked to rezone 28.1 acres at the corner of Concord Road and Franklin Road from Service Institution (Church) to OSRD to allow for a neighborhood.

This proposal would allow 20 homes on 28 acres, which exceeds our target of 1 home per acre on average.

When asked how this development would improve our natural environment in Brentwood, the reply I received is:

“Grove Park has been working with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and have preliminary buy-in on our proposed stream design pending review of the formal plan submittals for approval through the respective agencies permitting processes. The new channel will comply with TDEC and USACE rules which require that all new streams must include a vegetated riparian zone which will include native and indigenous plant species. It also must demonstrate lateral and vertical channel stability, and have a natural channel bottom. All mitigation watercourses must maintain or improve flow and classified uses after mitigation is complete. The project will be designed to re-establish and improve stream resource values and functions to their natural, best attainable condition. Moreover, this will promote the use of ecological processes (physical, chemical, and biological) to restore self-sustaining stream corridor functions while also providing year round visual interest for two of Brentwood’s main corridors. Plantings will be comprised of species native to the Central Basin and Highland Rim of Middle Tennessee that support a mosaic of native plant communities. In addition to the required plantings for the stream, over 700 trees will be planted throughout the site to create a unique landscape.”

The first reading of this proposal received 5 supporting votes with 1 “abstain” and 1 commissioner absent from the meeting.

  • The community meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 2, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Annex Room at City Hall.
  • The Planning Commission will review the request and provide its recommendations at its September 7, 2021, meeting. The meeting will be conducted in the the Commission Chambers at City Hall.
  • The public hearing is scheduled for September 13, 2021 beginning at 7:00 in the Commission Chambers at City Hall.
  • Second and final reading is scheduled for September 27, 2021. The meeting will be conducted in the the Commission Chambers at City Hall.

You can find much more information on this project and other zoning considerations posted online.

If you have comments or insight you would like to share on this project, please contact me at or 615-917-1384 (voice or text).



This Month’s Focus: Stormwater and Sewer water in Brentwood

When I was first running for Brentwood City Commission, a friend made the comment “what comes up during the campaign generally isn’t what you get to work on in office.” For me, the most obvious example of this is the pandemic we’ve been navigating this past year. In second place is stormwater.

This past couple of years, we’ve experienced some big storms here in town, and we’ve had quite a few of our families negatively impacted by stormwater and flooding. Some of the stories, pictures, and videos shared with me are heartbreaking. The events this weekend in Waverly are a stark reminder of what can happen. While we cannot prevent all damage, we want to take pragmatic steps that cost effectively work to the benefit of Brentwood.

As we investigate the root cause, several factors come up, including:

  • The impact of new residential and commercial construction as well as redevelopment of long-time neighborhoods.
  • Stormwater getting into our sanitary sewer system.
  • The difference in codes and standards in place when different neighborhoods were built, and the impact it makes on the way the neighborhood experiences storms.
  • Maintenance to our stormwater management systems, including creeks and ponds.

Impact of New Development in Brentwood on Stormwater Control in Brentwood

  • As Brentwood grows and as we experience an increase in severe storms like the one in March 2021, we have found a need to review our stormwater standards for new development.
  • The City of Brentwood hired Neal Shaffer to do a study and recommend improvements to our stormwater control ordinance for new development in Brentwood. The study was completed Spring of 2021 and submitted to the City of Brentwood.
  • This initiative is intended to address downstream impact of both residential and commercial development.
  • On Monday, Aug 23 2021 Brentwood City Commission is voting on Ordinance 2021-20 – Amending Chapter 56, Article I, of the Brentwood Municipal Code Relative to Land Disturbances. This ordinance applies to any substantial rebuild lot, including any modification to an existing structure, swimming pool, or accessory building where the change impacts 800 sq/ft or more of impervious surface. The change provides that when required, a land disturbance plan addressing erosion control, drainage, and grading improvement must be prepared by a licensed Tennessee professional engineer or landscape architect. If passed on Aug 23, 2021, second and final reading of this ordinance will be on September 13, 2021.
  • If we want to move beyond requiring this engineered plan to address stormwater, the next step would be for the Commission considering setting a maximum on the allowable lot coverage by impermeable surface. Today, anyone in Brentwood who owns a residential or commercial lot can use whatever part of the “building envelope” they desire to build a home, swimming pool, or other element, as long as it meets codes. The building envelope is the area of their land inside the setbacks where a structure can be sited. Traditionally, home builders in this community would use about half of the total building envelope, with the rest staying yard and garden. Lately, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of the building envelope being covered in impermeable surface as homes have grown, swimming pools have become more common, and large patios have grown in popularity. This change makes an impact on the way water moves.
  • If we limit the proportion of the building envelope that can be covered by impermeable surface, we could increase the amount of water naturally absorbed into the ground, reduce the potential to overload our stormwater control, and make it less likely that a new project harms a neighbor. The cost of this is in private property rights and values.

How far do we want to go in limiting what Brentwood Citizens can build on their own land? I’d appreciate your comments and experience if you want to share them with me at or 615-917-1384 (voice or text).

Brentwood Sewage Issue: Stormwater getting into the sanitary sewers

  • During heavy rains, stormwater leaks into our sewer lines several ways, including:
  1. Breaks in lines
  2. Loose manhole covers
  3. Improper routing of downspouts into sanitary sewer lines
  • Brentwood is currently in the process of implementing a long-term sewer rehabilitation program that addresses the worst of these problems.
  • Because this really isn’t a problem other than during big storms, the engineering solution is adding an “equalization tank” near our pump station. The idea is that during times when more water is flowing into the pump station than can be pumped out, the equalization tank captures the excess. The stormwater in the tank can then be pumped out as the weather clears and water flow to the pump station drops to normal levels. You can learn more at using this link.
  • As the community continues to grow, the system is designed for a second stormwater equalization tank located somewhere around Tower Park. This second tank is not expected to be needed for about a decade, and once installed, should allow our existing system and pump station to serve the community through the build-out of remaining undeveloped land in Brentwood.

Homes built in the floodway and the floodway fringe

  • Brentwood has several neighborhoods, predominantly on the west side of the city, that predate our current process and standards. If these neighborhoods were presented today, homes in the floodway and floodway fringe would not be allowed by code.
  • Brentwood is currently reviewing the requirements for existing homes built in the floodway and floodway fringe where the owners are investing in improvements. The goals of this review are:
  1. Allow the homeowner to maximize curb appeal
  2. Allow the homeowner to optimize functionality
  3. Minimize adverse impact on neighbors and downstream residents in the case of a flood
  4. Minimize any unintended negative consequence to other areas
  5. Allow for consistency over time
  • Currently the engineering and other professional staff members are studying this issue.

Steps residents can take right now to reduce their potential for storm damage:

  • Do not fill in any of our creeks.
  • Appreciate the value our creeks and ponds provide in moving water through our community.
  • Keep fences and other impediments to water flow out of all our creeks.
  • Keep creeks, ponds, and other elements of the stormwater system healthy and operating properly.
  • Connect HOA’s to the engineering support available through the City of Brentwood to collaborate and ensure the health of the neighborhood’s stormwater system.
  • You can find best practices online here.

As you can probably tell if you read this far down, this is a big topic. Much bigger than I can adequately cover in an email newsletter. I know I’m both simplifying and leaving out a number of important elements – some that I’m generally aware of, and other that may be blind-spots in my understanding. If you’d like to give me some help doing a good job working for our community, please feel free to contact me at or 615-917-1384 to share your knowledge and experience. I want to do what I can to find the best balance of policy and personal freedom for the benefit of our community.


I hope everyone had a great summer! Thank you for your help and support.


Nelson Andrews
Vice Mayor
City of Brentwood
“From Brentwood, For Brentwood”

As always, your perspective and comments are very important to me, and I want to encourage you to contact me at either if it’s not “on fire” and 615-917-1384 (voice or text) if it is.

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