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Gander Mountain tops FMPC agenda

The members of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission unanimously approved a site plan for the proposed Gander Mountain development on Parkside Drive, but the approval of an amendment for signs for the business drew a dissenting vote from Commissioner Carol Evans.

“I think these signs are out of order,” Evans told the other commissioners. “I think it’s outrageous. This is the town of Farragut. Do we want our entrance to look like a huge


Evans’ concern centered over an amendment to the town sign ordinance that would allow Gander Mountain to place a 650 square-foot sign on the building frontage facing Interstate 40 as well as four signs and a logo sign on the frontage facing Parkside Drive.

Robert “Bob” Leonard, an attorney representing KTJ Limited Partnership One Hundred Thirty-One, the firm bringing in Gander Mountain, told commissioners two of those signs will be directional. One will be an indicator for those needing ATV service and the other sign, to be placed at the opposite end of the building, will be an indicator for the bait shop that will be part of the Gander Mountain store.

When Evans expressed concern about the size of the sign facing Interstate 40, Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III asked KTJ Limited Partnership One Hundred Thirty-One partner Jim Nixon to give commissioners a point of reference in terms of size.

Nixon said Gander Mountain would be approximately 67,000 square feet in space, about the size of the Parkside Belk store. The frontage facing the Interstate will be about 381 feet long, while the distance from end to end of Shield-Watkins Field at Neyland Stadium is about 361 feet.

Leonard said the letters for the sign that would face the Interstate would be only two feet over the limit set by Farragut sign standards.

Leonard and commissioners negotiated concerning the site plan as well. The staff recommendations for approval of the site plan included a certificate of occupancy being issued only after a traffic light was constructed at the store’s Parkside Drive entrance.

Leonard and commissioners asked town engineer Darryl Smith about a time frame from ordering a signal light to receipt of one. Smith said that would depend on a lot of factors.

Leonard then presented a letter to commissioners from Gander Mountain officials, stating they didn’t want to have the certificate of occupancy dependent on signal light completion.

“Please remember, these people have not yet bought the property,” Leonard told commissioners.

Commissioners agreed to not tie the certificate of occupancy to the completion of the signal light and compromised with an agreement that the company will provide traffic control until the signal can be completed.

In other business, commissioners:

• approved a site plan for the Farragut Professional Park to be built on the Click Funeral Home property, 11915 Kingston Pike.

• approved a preliminary plat for Battery at Berkley Park at the request of Phil Cobble.

• approved an amendment to the text of the Farragut Zoning Ordinance in regards to elderly housing at the request of TJ Development.

• approved a final plat for the Cove at Turkey Creek at the request of Cove Properties.


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