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Haynes labels Development Review Process meeting ‘sobering’

The Development Review Process Evaluation Committee convened Monday, July 11, for what Chairman Mike Haynes dubbed at its conclusion — “a sobering meeting.”

It was the first of two meetings scheduled to hear public input and began with a report by Ron Darden, a consultant with University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service, who tabulated the results of surveys sent to 115 people who had been through the town’s development process. About 16 percent of those surveyed returned the questionnaire. A few opted to write letters instead, and 12 people requested an interview with the committee.

Attendees who addressed the committee included engineers, developers, attorneys, a representative of a homeowner’s association and a business owner.

Robert Hill, committee member and Farragut Municipal Planning Commission chairman, thanked Dorian Lain, owner of The Eye Group, for sharing the perspective of a business owner in the process of expanding.

Lain said he was “disappointed” and “frustrated” with the process that he felt took too long.

“I feel like the town of Farragut should be excited for us that we’re succeeding and growing and that’s not the feeling I get,” Lain said. “It seems like we’re almost combating the town of Farragut just to get through and to have a nice project and we’re very interested in having a nice building and looking good for the community.”

“We work in around 43 states,” said architect Michael Brady. “Of all the states and jurisdictions we work in, Farragut is absolutely the most miserable to work in. … We constantly tell clients that come to us and want to do a project in Farragut, we suggest ‘you really ought to consider something else, it’s going to be a long, painful process.’ … It’s also real expensive to go through the process.”

“The process does need to be improved,” said civil engineer Billy Fulghum, another speaker who shared his experience about working in Farragut versus other municipalities. “It definitely has some kinks in it that could be worked out.”

Recurring suggestions from the public included improving communications with town staff, evaluating the timeliness of the process and simplifying the process.

The committee meets again at 7 p.m., next Tuesday, July 19, at Farragut Town Hall for another meeting devoted to hearing public input. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Read more public comments in an upcoming issue of farragutpress.


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