About SPNA

The Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) is the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment.

SPNA members meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Senior Renaissance Center of Cohn Adult Learning Center at 4805 Park Avenue.

About Sylvan Park

Welcome to Sylvan Park! We hope you love this neighborhood as much as we do. Here are some helpful answers to commonly asked questions from newcomers.

What, exactly, is Sylvan Park?
The boundaries of the growing Nashville neighborhood are Charlotte Ave. to the north, Richland Creek to the west, railroad tracks to the south and east. Here is a Google map of the Sylvan Park neighborhood (zoom in for more detail).

Why do Sylvan Park residents love living here?
Here are just a few reasons.

  • Sylvan Park's many restaurants and businesses, within walking distance.

  • The newly-built McCabe Park Community Center, which offers patrons of all ages a modern and friendly place to exercise or spend leisure time, in a beautiful park setting; it also offers a variety of fitness classes and a full-service fitness center.

  • Richland Park Branch Library offers many programs for all ages, right in the neighborhood.

  • Sylvan Park Paideia Design Center is a well-regarded public elementary school with an active PTO.

  • Many Nashville Community Education classes take place at the Cohn School.

  • The popular Richland Park Farmer’s Market is on Saturday mornings in Richland Park.

  • Speaking of parks, the neighborhood has two of them - Richland Park and McCabe Park.

  • The Richland Creek Greenway is a 3.8 mile paved, looped path in our neighborhood, connecting McCabe Park and the Sylvan Park neighborhood with shopping centers along White Bridge Pike and Harding Road, and Nashville State Community College.

  • The McCabe Golf Course is a 27-hole golf course and practice facility that has been voted best place to play by Nashville Scene Magazine.

  • There are many opportunities to meet and socialize with your neighbors (see some links below for many active community organizations).

What should I do when I move here?

  • Join Nextdoor! :) Our neighborhood has an extremely active online community on Nextdoor, a private social network where neighbors can buy/sell goods, get business recommendations and experiences, share news and emergency alerts, and so much more. There are also lots of Facebook pages for neighborhood groups, including (but not limited to): SPNA, Sylvan Park Moms' Club, Sylvan Park PTO, Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy, the SPURS Running Club, Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, Friends of Richland Park Branch Library, tons of local restaurants and businesses, and so many more.

  • Join the Sylvan Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). Since 1984, SPNA has been the collective community voice for addressing neighborhood issues such as zoning, security, beautification, traffic, metropolitan services, and environment. We sponsor a variety of social events throughout the year including a family movie night, annual golf tournament, a 4th of July parade, Night Out Against Crime, and a holiday party with caroling. There is also an informative quarterly neighborhood SPNA newsletter.

  • Sign up for Kathleen Murphy's email newsletter. Our councilwoman's updates contain helpful information and important links and events for Nashville's District 24, where our neighborhood is located. Her email is kathleen.murphy@nashville.gov if you need to reach her directly.

  • Explore the neighborhood! With all the nearby restaurants and places to go for recreation, the hard thing will be deciding what to do first, and which are your favorites!

What is the history of Sylvan Park?
Sylvan Park was established in 1887 and our neighborhood continues to evolve. Sylvan Park has a fascinating history, chronicled in “Nashville’s Sylvan Park,” by Yvonne Eaves and Doug Eckert (available through the Nashville Public Library system).

Who should I contact if...

  • I see something suspicious or concerning, but not necessarily criminal? Call the police nonemergency number at 615-862-8600.

  • I notice a problem with a city service or codes issue? You can submit a public works request here, or file a codes complaint here. Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy is a great resource for this, but you can also find a lot of information on the Nashville Metro web site 24 hours a day.

  • I have some other really, really random question? Nextdoor is about to be your best friend.

Friday, October 09, 2009

SPNA members to vote on new by-laws at meeting Monday (Oct. 12)

SPNA members will decide whether to adopt new by-laws at the upcoming membership meeting on Monday, October 12, at 7 p.m. The revised by-laws are intended to replace the existing by-laws and better conform to the standards for non-profit organizations that are required by Tennessee state law.

The meeting will be held in the basement of the Cohn Adult Learning Center at the intersection of 48th and Park Avenues. Please make plans to attend this important event.


  1. Beth Kindig10:09 PM

    Unfortunately, I think that people underestimated the importance of this meeting. Only 25 people showed up to vote on the new by-laws, which passed by a few votes.

    As I understand it (and please correct me if I'm wrong), what this means is...

    You will only be allowed to vote at the Dec. meeting. That vote is for up to 21 members for a Board of Directors.

    This Board will hold monthly meetings which are open to the members of the association unless closed for a specific business purpose.

    SPNA membership will be allowed to propose amendments to the by-laws at this Dec. meeting.

    As we learned at the meeting last night, it might be advisable to consult with a lawyer on the verbage that you submit. One member who submitted an amendment meant to change one sentence. Being a layperson, she inadvertently changed the meaning of other sentences in that section. She was unable to make any changes at the meeting.

    Her amendment failed and the by-law that withholds voting rights for 30 days after a new member joins still stands.

    I know the committee that wrote the new by-laws worked very hard on this, but I feel that an information session would have been in order since most of the SPNA membership rarely, if ever deals with neighborhood association models, by-laws and amendments.

    It was suggested several times at the meeting to slow the process down, but apparently after almost 20 yrs. we've discovered that we're not in compliance with state law or protected from liability. The people in attendance were told by John Summers that if we didn't pass the by-laws last night, we were going to have to shut the whole Neighborhood Association down, split up the bank balance between the members and go home.

    We were also told that there are no legal Neighborhood Association models in TN, non-profit or otherwise, that involve the membership having the right to vote on issues (as opposed to a Board).

    In all honesty, the 20 people that usually show up at SPNA meetings have been making the decisions for years.

    Obviously, the part where it gets tricky for our neighborhood is the (dreaded) conservation overlay issue. I think it's pretty safe to say that this divisive issue will be back on the table before too long and this time, unless you're on the Board, you won't get a vote.

  2. Beth, thank you for taking time to comment. This has been a challenging process, and the law is proving quite tough for most of us (including me) to understand.

    I think it will be important for all of us who care about SPNA to keep talking about these new by-laws and how and whether we amend them further to deal with the concerns have been raised.