NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee panel will consider a petition to protect a Nashville Civil War fort from nearby development plans.

The Tennessee Historical Commission voted Thursday for an administrative law judge to hear Friends of Fort Negley's request to declare the fort and 21 acres nearby as protected. The commission will vote on the judge's decision.

Tennessee's Heritage Protection Act of 2016 prohibits removing historical memorials on public property, unless controlling public entities request waivers and two-thirds of the commission approve.

After Union forces occupied Nashville in 1862, more than 2,700 African Americans helped build Fort Negley. About 600 to 800 died.

Many could be buried beneath the development site, now an unused baseball stadium.

The proposal includes park, retail, residential and creative space.

Nashville has ordered an archaeological study before proceeding.