Nashville Home Studios Return To Legal Limbo

Currently, home studios are not specifically allowed in Metro Codes. Credit: kaysha Flickr

A months-long effort to legalize home music studios in Nashville has been put off indefinitely. The Metro Council deferred action on the ordinance Tuesday night.

Right now, codes officials basically look the other way, even though hundreds of musicians run professional studios out of their homes. The proposal was intended to give them a way to operate within the law. But neighborhood groups voiced concerns about broadly allowing home studios, citing noise and parking concerns.

Councilmember Megan Barry says she had just enough votes to approve her ordinance, but she chose to put it off.

“I believe that a measure like this – balancing neighborhood concerns with business interests and the city’s music-oriented DNA – should be enacted by a large margin, not a narrow one.”

The deferral means home studios remain in legal limbo. And while that hasn’t slowed down music makers in the past, one studio owner was cited last year after being featured in a newspaper article.

The ordinance would have allowed home recording studios to employ a full-time worker who doesn’t live at the house and have no more than 10 clients per day. Off-street parking would be required, and studios would still have to comply with noise restrictions. Signage would also be banned, even an interior display visible from outside.

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