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FMPC approves one Fox Run request 5-2, denies second

After a heated discussion, the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission approved one of two requested changes to the Fox Run subdivision during its Thursday, Dec. 15, meeting.

Commissioners approved in a 5-2 vote a request to amend the preliminary plat in order to move storm water structures. The approval, however, was contingent upon several stipulations that included a 40-foot easement, that a driveway not be built into the easement, a stockpile area for topsoil and final approval of the plans by town officials.

Concerns ran high when David Harbin, an engineer with Batson, Himes, Norvell & Poe, told commissioners he had submitted a new plan that flipped a proposed house and driveway to opposite sides of Lot 176 to keep it farther away from the stormwater drainage pipe.

“We don’t know anything about any new plan,” Commissioner Robert Hill said. “We don’t know what plan you are talking about.”

Harbin said he had submitted a new plan to the commission that included the details of the movement of the house.

Farragut Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said after the meeting an investigation showed Harbin had submitted new plans to the town in late November. The plans were handled by a temporary employee and did not make it to the commission, she said.

During the meeting, Harbin said his plan included running the drainage pipe through 20 feet of the easement of Lot 176 and 20 feet of an adjoining lot.

Commissioners expressed concern that a home’s driveway might be built over the stormwater drainage pipe and cause future problems should any work be required.

“I’m wondering what other changes there are other than having the house flipped,” Hill said. “I want to make sure the water flows out of there and doesn’t explode into someone’s house or basement or something like that.”

Gary Bishop, a Fox Run resident, urged commissioners to carefully consider any drainage issues. He said he was concerned water might escape from the drainage pipe while underground and cause possible erosion and sinkholes.

Commissioners Carol Evans and Hill voted against the resolution, while Mayor Eddy Ford, Aldermen Joel Garber, Edward St. Clair, Fred Jones and Holly Kelly voted in favor of it pending the meeting of several stipulations.

Sinkholes were at the center of another Fox Run resolution that commissioners denied. Harbin requested commissioners allow driveways in Lot 93 and Lot 96 to be built over existing sinkholes.

Hawk told commissioners the city does not recommend this resolution because of the city’s ordinance forbidding construction over sinkholes.

Melanie Cross, the builder of these lots, told commissioners she thought the decision of whether to build a driveway over a sinkhole should belong ultimately to the homeowner who purchases the lot, and the builder.

“I have even offered to put extra steel in the area for extra support,” she said. “I believe you have to build a house in a prime area. I don’t want to take a lot and turn it into a garage home.”

Hawk said the town’s concern was for the third or fourth-generation homebuyer who might purchase the home and not know about the sinkhole.

“We don’t permit subdivision roads to go over sinkholes?” Jones asked Hawk.

“That’s correct,” Hawk said.

“The only way to avoid that is to never build another driveway in the town of Farragut again,” Harbin said.

“David, that’s ridiculous,” Hill said. “Don’t even go there.”

In other business, commissioners approved a grading plan for the east side of McFee Road.

Hawk told commissioners the plan was to basically move dirt from one side of the road to the other. She said the staff was in favor of it because it keeps the heavy trucks off the main road.

“Will you have one ‘haul-road’ across McFee Road?” Hill asked William Fulghum Jr., an engineer with Fulghum, MacIndoe & Associates Inc.

“That’s a good question,” Fulghum said. “I’d have to ask the contractor on that one.”

Jones expressed concern over the future of McFee Road and whether the grading work would impede traffic.

Fulghum said they would have a flagman in place to help with the traffic.

In other matters, commissioners approved a plan to modify the front façade and canopy of the Village Green Shopping Center. The plan will bring out the entrances and make the exterior design resemble that of the Fresh Market store located in the shopping center.


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