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FMPC passes proposed ‘cluster housing’ zone 9-0

A new zoning district touted by some Farragut Municipal Planning Commission members to conserve environmentally sensitive areas and give developers flexibility in design was passed unanimously.

“They (developers) like this. They like the flexibility,” said Ruth Hawk, community development director for the town.

Hawk met with a few developers two weeks prior to the vote and she said they liked the formulas in the new district regulations that determine amount of lots a development can have, maximum lot and building coverage per unit and open space required.

“They can do quick numbers without having to get into the design,” she said.

Under the new district’s regulations, the number of units permitted on a development would be determined by dividing the gross land area by the minimum lot size of the base zone.

Open space will have to be an integral part of the overall design of the potential development and encompass 35 percent of the development in order to conserve natural and man-made features on the site.

Bob Hill, chairman of the FMPC, said the open space requirement would allow for large clumps of green space.

“One of the virtues of this is that somewhere on the parcel there will be some large green spots,” he said.

To be considered for the overlay district a development would have to be at least five acres.

Other regulations include front yard setbacks of 50 feet on arterial streets, 40 feet on major collectors, 30 feet on local collectors and 20 feet on local streets.

All accessory structures excluding fences, detention basin structures, subdivision walls, retaining walls and certain utility structures will be required to be set back 20 feet from the nearest point of right-of-way.

Peripheral property line setbacks will have to be at least 50 feet from peripheral side and rear property lines.

There is also be a required distance of 20 feet between all freestanding buildings.

Buffer strips will be flexible and implemented on a case-by-case basis. If the FMPC deems buffer strips are needed, they would be required to be a minimum of 25 feet in width.

Principal building on the development can not exceed two-and-a-half stories or 35 feet in height and accessory buildings can not exceed 15 feet in height.

The open space residential overlay district, which can only be applied for as a subclassification in an R-1 district, had been a hot topic in the commission’s workshops for several months.

The new district will now go before the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen for first reading at its Oct. 23 meeting.

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