After Metro Codes officials learned about Bryan Cumming’s Studio 23 in a Tennessean story about the rise of at-home recording studios, the music industry veteran received a notice the next day. His production company, situated inside his West Nashville house, isn’t compliant with the city’s codes he was told in a Sept. 17 letter. Cumming would have to conform to regulations within a month.
Under Metro law, residents can apply for home occupation permits to operate businesses from within their houses, but the code doesn’t allow patrons to visit for business purposes. Home-based recording studios, so long as musicians arrive there to produce and record, are thus prohibited.
“I just couldn’t quite grasp the idea that I was unable to have anybody in my house that I was working with,” Cumming, who has operated his Nashville recording studio for 20-plus years, told The Tennessean.
Cumming’s situation – a common one in a place known as Music City – prompted at-large Councilwoman Megan Barry to file a proposed ordinance Tuesday that would fix that.
“Nashville is a place where people come to make music, listen to music, enjoy music, and we need to create an environment here where we’re welcoming all of that and promoting creativity by allowing home-based music studios,” Barry said.
Barry’s bill, set for a first of three council votes on Oct. 16, would add a new accessory use called “home recording studio” to the city’s home occupation code. The bill would allow as many as 10 clients or musicians at the recording studio per day and no more than one full-time employee not living within the home.
“You’ll be allowed to have clients come to the studio,” Barry said.