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Mayor Ford questions ‘impact fees,’ bonds on developers


Mayor Eddy Ford questioned whether the town is being fair to developers at the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting March 11.

He discovered a discrepancy in the town’s zoning ordinances that calls for all developers of new subdivisions in all residential districts, except rural residential (R-1), to post a bond for upgrading town streets, Ford said.

In the case of McFee Farm “we’re looking at 450 homes on that lot and the developer doesn’t have to pay a penny,” Ford said.


The mayor said that in the past, two other developers were required to post a bond of $70,000 and $50,000.

Ford was also alarmed that the FBMA was not aware which developers were being levied what he called an “impact fee.”

“Developers are being asked to put bonds on future development without this board being aware of it,” he said. “I don’t think we should be extracting impact fees without the board knowing.”

Aldermen Joel Garber said the town should be consistent in its policy of levying impact fees.

“I think what we have to decide here is a policy matter … whether we want developers to help with road matters,” he said. “Do we want an impact fee or don’t we?”

Vice Mayor Mike Haynes said consistency is important, but he is concerned about fairness.

“I am concerned about the fairness aspect,” he said, “but I am not philosophically against an impact fee.”

Ford also contended that an impact fee should not be a part of the zoning process, but rather preliminary plat approval.

“Experience has shown that it should not be a part of the zoning process,” he said.

Ford suggested that the board consider making “an impact fee part of the preliminary plat approval process for all developers and involve the board in the process” during the town’s work program next year.

In other business:

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to rezone 12 acres on the north side of Allen Kirby Road approximately 700 feet east of the Knox/Loudon County line from agricultural to R-1, OSR.

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to rezone approximately 318 acres, 515 McFee Road, the McFee Farm, from R-2 to R-1, OSR.

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to delete all references to retaining walls, and Chapter 4, General Provisions and Exceptions, Section 1, Accessory Structures, to add requirements for retaining walls taller than three feet be submitted to the town’s engineering department for approval.

• The FBMA voted unanimously on second reading to amend the Farragut Municipal Code to require that existing non-public streets be constructed to standards set by the regulations of the town as a prerequisite to acceptance by the town.

• The FBMA voted unanimously to purchase an additional projector and screen, and a replacement document camera, audio recorder and video recorder. The price tag for the items is $11,705.80.

• The FBMA voted unanimously to accept a bid of $41,300 from Real Estate Service Professionals for right-of-way acquisition for phase two of the McFee Road project. Town Engineer Darryl Smith said the money would not be used for the actual acquisition, but rather to start the process.

• The FBMA voted unanimously to cancel its June 10 meeting. The meeting could be rescheduled for Monday, June 7.

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