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Farragut town officials host a training session

Farragut town officials and members of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission hosted a training session Tuesday, Jan. 24, to discuss suggested changes in building ordinances with local developers and engineers.

Farragut Community Development Director Ruth Hawk and Municipal Planning Commission Chairman Robert Hill told the assembled group of more than 50 engineers, architects and developers one of the purposes of the gathering was to make sure they (developers) were aware of the application process.

A persistent problem the town has faced with developers is that those seeking to build are not completing all the necessary paperwork, Hawk said after the meeting. When the plan goes before the Commission for approval, the builder may get approval subject to the completion of certain items. These “subject-to” items may include 90 or more listed changes that need doing before the project can go ahead.

“One of the problems the staff is having is that we are being forced into a position of quality control,” Hawk said.

Hawk told the gathered group of builders that “Farragut rules are going to remain stringent,” but the town is also looking for ways to make the development process easier.

Farragut has two different processes for development. One is the subdivision process, which covers residential and commercial development that subdivides property. The other is the site plan process, which covers non-residential development. For example, if you were to build a club house associated with an existing structure and it would be maintained by a homeowner association, that would go under the site plan process, Hawk said.

Hill said the FMPC is proposing changes to streamline the procedures for builders. As it stands now, town regulations require builders to submit a concept plan, which is discussed in a workshop at one FMPC meeting and voted on during a second meeting.

Rusty Baksa, an engineer with Land Development Solutions, said the time involved with the concept plans was one of his concerns.

“I was concerned when they first went to two meetings for the concept plan,” he said. “Time is more of an inconvenience than money.”

Making the most of time is what Hill wants with a suggested change to the preliminary plat process.

The current plat process requires one workshop session and another FMPC session to vote on the plat itself. Hill and Hawk suggested a possible change would be to eliminate the workshop session.

Another change the FMPC already has implemented is to allow the plats of correction and resubdivision plats to be handled by the staff instead of requiring a vote.

Under the site plan process, the town staff and the FMPC are considering the creation of a concept site plan in addition to the current requirement of a full site plan. The concept site plan would be would be discussed and voted on during the same FMPC session and be valid for six months.

Hill and Hawk asked the group to consider these ideas and get back to the town with their thoughts on the process.


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