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White, Jaccard suit could be moot


A local developer’s request to rezone five acres adjacent to Old Stage Hills from R-2 to office could put an end to a long-standing lawsuit against the town.

Brothers Noah and Knick Myers, owners of Myers Bros. Holdings, made the request during the workshop session of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting last week.

The five acres involved in the request is part of more than 22 acres the brothers would like to develop as an office/light commercial setting.

“It will be a mix of office and light commercial, such as boutiques,” Noah Myers said.


James R. White and Jeffrey Jaccard currently own the five-acre section, but the Myers brothers contend that if the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen vote in favor of the rezoning on first reading they would purchase it. Once ownership changed to the Myers the lawsuit against the town would be nullified.

The lawsuit stems from a move by the FBMA in 1997 to close Deadwood Road within Old Stage Hills.

White and Jaccard filed a lawsuit in the Knox County Chancery Court contesting the action.

The town claimed that the White and Jaccard purchase of the property at the end of Deadwood Road was wrongful because it was not accompanied by an application for resubdivision and the owners were unlawfully installing utility lines without proper authorization of the town and the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission.

The town also claimed that the plaintiffs bought the property with full knowledge of the pending action to close Deadwood Road and a prior agreement with the property’s former owner.

The two parties tried to mediate and reach an agreement.

At the Sept. 11 FBMA meeting, the aldermen agreed the appropriate action would be to limit future development on the property owned by White and Jaccard to three residential lots, accessible by Deadwood Road, which would remain open for that purpose, but neither side was able to reach an agreement.

The FMPC was concerned that the Myers brothers may not follow through and buy the land after rezoning and White and Jaccard would be left with land zoned for office and commercial use.

Knick Myers said they have a contract to buy the tract from White and Jaccard.

“Once it’s rezoned, we’re going to purchase it,” Knick Myers said.

Mayor Eddy Ford said he would like the town’s attorney, Tom Hale, to look over the contract.

“We want to make sure it in no way jeopardizes the lawsuit,” he said.

“(The contract) really covers the town so Mr. White doesn’t end up with (office) property,” Noah Myers said.

Ford said he would also like the town’s boards to consider closing Deadwood Road once the property changed hands.

The Myers were agreeable with the closure because they would not have any use for the street.

Residents of Old Stage Hills were OK with the closure and favored the type of development the Myers proposed for the more than 22-acre tract.

“It’s a win-win situation for us and them,” one resident said.

“When you look at other potential things that could go in on that property, this is a win situation. It’s better than slapping a McDonald’s in there,” another resident said.

The rezoning request will appear on the agenda for the June 17 FMPC meeting.

In other business:

• Commissioners Holly Kelly and Ed St. Clair were appointed by Ford to two-year terms on the FMPC. Dr. Steve Hildebrand was appointed by Ford to the commission for a two-year term. Hildebrand replaces Tom Rosseel, whose term had expired.

 

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