A resolution recognizing Mr. Rick Bernhardt, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Department on the occasion of his retirement.

WHEREAS, Rick Bernhardt graduated from Glencliff High School, majored in economics at Auburn University, and studied City Planning at Ohio State University, graduating first in his class, and then joined the Metropolitan Planning Commission as a staff member in 1970. After serving as a Senior Planner, Mr. Bernhardt moved on to lead planning departments in Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Gainesville, Florida; and Orlando, Florida; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Bernhardt then directed town planning and new urbanism at EDAW, Inc. a 600 person international planning and design consulting firm; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Bernhardt returned to Nashville as Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Department in 2000 to direct all planning, mapping, and GIS operations for our consolidated city-county government, leading Nashville in the adoption of over 20 neighborhood plans and form-based codes; and

WHEREAS, under Rick Bernhardt’s tenure, Metro Nashville created 20 Urban Design Overlays – introducing form based codes calibrated to urban neighborhoods, suburban commercial corridors, greenfields and infill communities; adopted the Community Character Manual in 2008 to shift community planning from a focus on land use and density to a focus on creation and preservation of community character and form; and adopted the Downtown Code in 2010, applying a form based code to all of Downtown; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Bernhardt spearheaded the redistricting of Davidson County in 2011, making innovative and practical use of technology to see the impacts of moving Council district boundaries and in a manner that was efficient and transparent; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Bernhardt has lectured widely on urban planning topics for numerous universities, the Seaside Institute, the Urban Land Institute, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; and

WHEREAS, for his outstanding vision and leadership, Mr. Bernhardt has received numerous awards including the Outstanding Service Award from the American Planning Association, Distinguished Alumnus Award from Ohio State University, and the Leadership in Regional Thinking and Action Award from Cumberland Region Tomorrow; and

WHEREAS, for his crowning achievement, Rick Bernhardt successfully led the Metropolitan Planning Department and the citizens of Nashville through the three year community engagement process to develop Nashville Next, the document to guide Nashville’s growth for the next twenty-five years; and

WHEREAS, after forty-five years of service in urban planning, Mr. Bernhardt is retiring as of July 17, 2015; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes the accomplishments of Mr. Bernhardt, thanks him for his many years of dedicated and excellent service, and wishes him a happy retirement and many years to fulfil his quest to ride his motorcycle in all fifty states.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing and honoring Mr. Rick Bernhardt, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Department, on the occasion of his retirement.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to Mr. Rick Bernhardt.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Burkley Allen, Emily Evans, Peter Westerholm, Larry Hagar, Ronnie Steine


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: July 7, 2015
Adopted: July 7, 2015
Approved: July 8, 2015
By: Mayor's signature

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