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FMPC puts brakes on speed proposal
Chairman Hill asks for more info from town engineer

The Farragut Metropolitan Planning Commission at its Thursday, March 18, meeting – despite the efforts of applicants Gables & Gates Realtors – left unresolved consideration of a request that the minimum street design speeds located within Open Space Residential Overlay District subdivisions be reduced.

In a presentation during the FMPC workshop, Gables & Gates’ Jerry Whitehead presented a design to the commission detailing streets designed for traffic traveling at 25, 30 and 35-mph. Whitehead told the commission that the narrowed streets would slow traffic in the proposed McFee Road development allowing residents the ability to walk and children to play in the streets as it was in years past.

Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford expressed concern for the safety of people walking and children playing in streets.

“In twenty-four years of sitting in public meetings, I have never had a citizen come to us in any meeting that I have ever attended and say: ‘Town, I wish you had designed our streets less safe.’ … The folks that live in Concord Hills, the folks that live in Fox Run on the curves on the hills, express just the opposite view of what’s been expressed here. I’m disappointed in what you all are doing.

“And having in the second year of this town experienced the situation on Peterson hill, and I invite any member of this planning commission to go out there and look. I’ll be glad to go out there with you. Early on there was a crest on Peterson Road that was of deep concern to the folks that live in Kingsgate (subdivision). I don’t know what the design speed of that crest and that hill is, but I will say that, as an example of what we’re seeing here, is that there is hump after hump after hump. One of the early projects of this town was to address these citizens’ concerns and move in and lower the hill on one of the crests on Peterson Road. … There is still a warning sign at the top of the hill now … and that’s what you’re trying to create if you follow what is being presented to us. … The liability associated with a town that moves to lower the safety of its roads for a particular zoning district, for a particular subdivision, for a particular developer, and later on should an accident occur I just want my name removed from any approval process that led to that design speed.”

Ford added that he hoped that the McFee developers “take these things very seriously, because safety in this town, up to now, is the most important issue that we’ve addressed in our road design standards and I hope we maintain that in the future.”

Commissioners Fred Jones, Edward St. Clair and Alderman Robert Edlund also expressed concerns.

Commission chairman Bob Hill quizzed town engineer Darryl Smith as to his knowledge of any similar road scenarios in the town. Hill requested that Smith locate and advise the commission on locations allowing the commissioners a first-hand view.

Hill told the Gables & Gates representatives that the matter would be taken up again at its April 1 meeting.

In other business before the commission:

• The commission approved an amendment by M&M Development to the site plan for West End Phase II Shopping Center, 129-165 West End Ave., to replace glass canopies with green metal roof, 8-0.

• The commission approved a request by Benchmark Associates, Inc. for a resubdivision of Parcels 27 and 27.01, Tax Map 142, 11217 Sonja Dr., to move an interior property line, 8-0.

• The commission approved a request by Benchmark Associates, Inc. for a resubdivision of Parcel 84, Tax Map 130, 1105 N. Campbell Station Road, fronting on Fretz and North Campbell Station roads, zoned R-1, 9.311 acres, to subdivide the property into two lots, and a variance request from the requirement to designate the 10 percent open space at this time, and a variance request for the requirement to construct a sidewalk at this time, 8-0 on each of three requests.

• The commission approved the platting of the private streets located within Glen Abbey subdivision as requested by the Glen Abbey Homeowners Association to be accepted as public streets and to change the suffixes from “way” to “drive” and “lane,” 8-0.

• The commission approved a request by Bill and Sue Hamilton for a variance from the Farragut Municipal Code, Title 16, Chapter 4, Driveways and Other Access Ways, distance between driveways, for access to Union Road, 6-2 (Carol Evans and Tom Rosseel dissenting).

The commission approved a preliminary plat for Fox Run by M&M Partners 8-0.

The commission approved a request by Gables & Gates/Housewright, LLC to rezone Parcel 26, 600 McFee Road, 15.2 acres, from R-2 to R-1 and OSR, 8-0.

The commission approved the “Farragut Community Facilities and Services Policy Plan 2004-2014,” 7-0-1 (Mayor Ford abstaining).

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