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Callaway’s Landing owners may fight to keep town from annexing

A month after several business owners on the south side of Kingston Pike near Lovell Road filed a lawsuit to fight annexation by the town, another lawsuit could be forthcoming involving a more than 150 year-old farm on Concord Road.

“We will be fighting this,” said Leland Johnson Jr. at the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting last week.

Johnson addressed the FMPC after an annexation report and plan of services for the land eyed, located on the east side of Concord Road between Lake Ridge Drive and Loop Road, was presented to the commission members.

He spoke on behalf of his wife, Anne Ralston, who owns approximately 25 acres of what used to be an almost 400-acre farm called Callaway’s Landing.

Ralston said since the 1940s the farm has been whittled down to 45 acres, 20 of which is owned by her sister, Sarah.

The first chunk was taken by TVA in the 1940s “for Ft. Loudoun Lake,” leaving the family with 50 to 60 acres, she said.

Then Knox County took another chunk for the construction of Concord Road in the 1940s. More land was lost with the construction of the First Utility District plant in the 1970s and 1992, Ralston added.

“We’ve been nibbled to death by the local utilities,” she said.

To save the remaining acreage, Ralston said, “ … we’re going to have to develop it ourselves.”

“We’re going to have to so we can keep it in the family,” she added. “Vacant land seems to attract attention.”

The land has been passed down through six generations of her family, Ralston said, and was originally owned by Shadric Callaway.

Ralston said the couple had planned to submit a conceptual design for “neighborhood shops” on 8.46 acres of the land, located between Loop Road and Second Drive, which is currently zoned neighborhood commercial in Knox County, to the county next week.

They are concerned that if the town takes the land it could cause them to go back to the drawing board.

“This was unexpected,” Ralston said. “(Farragut) doesn’t have neighborhood commercial zoning. Everything we have has been made to submit to Knox County.”

Annexation by the town would “mean all the rules would change. We’re too deep in this and we’d lose some time and money,” she added.

“We’re a family, not a business with big resources,” Ralston said. “We’re just trying to save the land.”

The couple, both civil engineers, has been doing a lot of the engineering for the project, but some would have to come from outside parties, she added.

Under the couple’s design, small town shops would be constructed on the tract.

“It would be the kind of shops you’d find in a little town,” Ralston said, “like a hardware store, bakery and convenience store.”

The convenience store would not sell gasoline, she added.

At the FMPC meeting, Johnson questioned what benefits people would see in the proposed annexed area of Concord Road if the town took it.

“The town is doing our part to widen that road,” Mayor Eddy Ford said.

According to the town’s Capital Improvement Plan Years 2005-2009, $1.145 million will be spent in the coming years to widen Concord Road from the intersection of the future Campbell Station Road extension to Northshore Drive.

Eighty percent of the Concord Road project would be funded by the state. The town has an “agreement in principal” with Knox County to split the remaining 20 percent.

The widening project would follow the completion of the Campbell Station Road extension. The Concord Road project would include widening approximately 3,800 feet of the road from a two-lane intersection to five lanes, matching the proposed Campbell Station Road extension.

Ralston held she would not oppose the town annexing the land after her proposed construction has been completed.

“I don’t think we would (oppose) annexation unless things in Farragut drastically change in the next few years,” she said.

“We just think the timing is really poor,” Johnson said.


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