Paradise Lost 

The bucolic Beaman Park, a gift to Nashville from the wife of the late bottling company magnate, could end up across the street from a landfill.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is to decide next month whether to allow the 15-acre construction dump on the Joelton property owned by Eddy Queen. In turn, Queen wants to sell the land to Greer Tidwell, who’s already gearing up to fight for the landfill. He’s soliciting the services of the omnipresent Ingram Group to flex its lobbying muscle.

He’ll need all the help he can get. The proposed landfill has rankled neighbors while even the relatively apolitical Metro Parks Department has drafted a letter to the Zoning Board asking for disapproval of Queen’s request.

“Obviously we’re concerned about it,” says Shane Dennison, the greenways director for the Parks Department. “It’s hard to know what kind of impact the construction dump will have on the endangered species and the quality of water in the area streams.”

Naturally, supporters of the park are protesting too. Sally Beaman bought the 1,500-acre tract of virgin land for $650,000 four years ago and gave it to Nashville for a public greenway.

“Nobody thinks this is a good idea. Nobody. It’s all about making money,” park supporter Nancy Dorman says. “You wouldn’t build a landfill next to Warner Park.”

But Tidwell’s lawyer, George Dean, points out that while the proposed landfill will store old building materials along with scraps of wood and metal, it won’t contain any food, waste, or other stuff that would cause a stink.

The area’s newly elected council member seems to agree. “If it’s done correctly it doesn’t have to have a negative impact,” says Brenda Gilmore. “We’re trying to find a win win solution—both for the developers and the community.”

Neighborhood leader Steve Henry isn’t as optimistic. He notes: “A landfill is a landfill.”

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