City of Forest Hills logo

Forest Hills News • May 2011

Forest Hills takes steps to establish City Court

City Attorney Matt Foster announced in May that the City is moving closer to establishing a City Court to enforce City statutes.

The City has adopted an ordinance authorizing the court, and the next step is appointing a judge, Foster said. At least two candidates have been approached to gauge their interest in serving.

Operating the court will require purchasing special software and using a separate computer that is connected to the state court system. City Manager Al Deck will attend training to be certified as a court clerk.

City asks for fewer signs, consistent speeds

Forest Hills is looking into options for removing excess street signs and making speed limits along Hillsboro Pike inside the City consistent.

City Engineer Brad Bivens reports that Tennessee Department of Transportation has agreed to make the speed limit on Hillsboro Pike from Old Hickory Boulevard to Harding Place 45 miles per hour. In addition to keeping traffic flow consistent, the move also allows some speed limit signs to be removed.

The City is awaiting word from TDOT on whether other street signs can be removed.

A total of 12 street signs can be removed along Otter Creek Road, Bivens said, without affecting the safe flow of traffic. In addition, three sign posts with no sign can be removed.

On a related matter, the City is looking into a solution for faulty break-away signs along Kingsbury Drive. About 10 or 12 of the sign posts were not installed properly and are lying on the ground. None of the sign posts have “broken away” when hit, as they are supposed to.

Census results disputed

Forest Hills and other state municipalities disagree with the U.S. Census Bureau about the official number of households and residents in the City.

According to regulations, the City must accept the Census Bureau figures for one year. Then, Forest Hills may take its own census and request a change in the Census Bureau numbers.

A variance in Census and City map boundaries could account for the difference in numbers.

Hazard mitigation plan needs input from public

The City’s Hazard Mitigation Committee continues to work through the steps of developing a standardized plan to mitigate the impact of future disasters, with the help of AMEC representative Cindy Popplewell.

Local governments are required by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 to adopt a hazard mitigation plan for dealing with natural disasters in order to maintain eligibility for mitigation funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This planning process is structured around four phases:

  • Phase 1: Organize resources.
  • Phase 2: Assess risks.
  • Phase 3: Develop a mitigation plan.
  • Phase 4: Implement the plan and monitor progress.

The team has identified potential hazards in Forest Hills and created profiles of the potential impact of those disasters. The profile includes where the hazard has occurred previously and where it is likely to occur in the future. More

Beautification efforts continue

Cherry Trees

The City has designed a landscaping plan for beautifying roadways next spring.

If the plan is approved and funded, the City will plant trees and flowers along Hillsboro Pike from Old Hickory Boulevard north to Chickering Lane.

Previously Forest Hills planted 100 Yoshino cherry trees in cooperation with the Cherry Blossom Festival, and planted daffodils at the intersection of Hillsboro Pike and Harding Place.

City receives Radnor award

Radnor Award

Friends of Radnor Lake president Charley Hankla presents the Partnership Award to City of Forest Hills Vice Mayor John Lovell and City Assistant Cynthia Despot.

Friends of Radnor Lake presented the City of Forest Hills with the 2011 Partnership Award, given to a group or organization for exceptional support for the state natural area.

Forest Hills gave $100,000 to Radnor Lake for the rebuilding efforts after the 2010 floods.

The donation funded construction of a bridge on the South Cove Trail.

“If not for Forest Hills’ leadership, we would not be in the condition we are today,” said Friends president Charley Hankla.

Radnor Bridge

Park manager Steve Ward applauds as Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau cuts a ribbon opening the South Cove Trail Bridge with Vice Mayor John Lovell and City Assistant Cynthia Despot.

Historic Bridge

Residents look for clues to historic bridge’s past

Thursday, June 9, 2011 6:21 PM

Forest Hills residents Michael and Michelle Hasty made an unusual discovery following the May 2010 floods: an old bridge on their property.

The Hastys’ property on Gardendale includes a portion of Otter Creek. After the flooding, they found a bridge they had never seen before.

Historians from the State of Tennessee have been out to look at the bridge, and report that it may date from the 1920s. It could have been for a road that preceded Kingsbury Drive.

Here’s a challenge for longtime residents of Forest Hills and the area: Do you know anything about the bridge? Do you know about a road in the area around Gardendale that might have existed before Kingsbury?

Please send any information you have here, and we will share it in the next newsletter.

Gift supports Percy Priest library

Percy Priest Gift

Commissioner Tim Douglas, Mayor Bill Coke, and Vice Mayor John Lovell present a $300,000 check to project co-chair Jill Gonas, Percy Priest Principal Melinda Williams, and project co-chair Henry Trost.

Percy Priest Elementary has met the City’s challenge to raise $300,000 to match the amount pledged by Forest Hills for library renovations, and Commissioners presented a check for $300,000 to the school May 19.

The expansion and renovation of the library is on track to break ground in early June, with a total of $806,000 raised to date, reports Henry Trost, co-chair of the project. Funds include $305,000 in private donations.

In addition to the $300,000 gift from the City, the project also received a pledge of $100,000 from the City of Oak Hill, $100,000 from an anonymous donor, and $65,000 raised by the Percy Priest PTO. The rest of the money has come from parents, neighbors, and friends, including donations from students who are excited about the project.

“There is a real energy and excitement at Percy Priest surrounding the new library and media center,” PTO president Liz Chilton said. “Everyone has jumped on board to help ensure we can build our library this year.”

She says students continue to support the project, with increased number of kids holding yard sales and lemonade stands. “The fourth grade is working hard to earn money to leave a gift to the school, to purchase furnishings for the new library,” she said.

The PTO is selling commemorative brick pavers to raise funds. For a donation of $250, supporters can customize a 4”x8” brick with up to three lines of type. The pavers will be installed in the walkway to the new library.

For information or to order a paver, contact Angie Howard at or 385-8183. Pavers may also be ordered here.