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Smith Road Weigel’s issue at upcoming FMPC


The Farragut Municipal Planning Commission is expected to revisit the building of a Weigel’s Farm Stores in the 12000 block of Kingston Pike during its regular meeting May 18.

“We’re going to be asking for a variance on the distance on the Smith Road entrance,” said Robert “Bob” Leonard, an attorney representing Weigel’s. “We’re also going to be asking for a variance in the depth of the curb cut.”

Leonard said he has information concerning the feasibility of access issues, but declined to explain until the May 18

meeting.

Farragut planning officials remain firm in their stance on the building concerning entrances and exits on Kingston Pike and Smith Road.

Farragut Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said the town ordinance establishes a business entrance on Kingston Pike must be 400 feet from an intersection. Access on a collector road, such as Smith Road, must be 200 feet from an intersection.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said Weigel’s has agreed to establish a full entrance directly across from the Sugarwood subdivision with an access road running back to the property. There is also a proposed right-in, right-out entrance on Kingston Pike. Leonard, in a past meeting on this matter, said market studies cited convenience stores as impulse buying and said Weigel’s needed direct access to Kingston Pike.

Leonard said the store agreed to place the full entrance across from Sugarwood with the easement running back to the property, but said he plans to ask for a variance in the distance of the setback in the easement. Plans show the proposed distance of the easement to be 20 feet from Kingston Pike.

Hawk said the town prefers a 40-foot setback on the easement road that will run directly across from the Sugarwood entrance back to the Weigel’s store. This is to help relieve any potential problems caused by vehicle stacking.

Plans show the store’s proposed entrance on the Smith Road side of the facility is approximately 100 feet from the intersection of Kingston Pike, which doesn’t meet the town’s requirement of a distance of 200 feet on a collector road.

Smith aid the staff is recommending Weigel’s line up its Smith Road entrance directly across from the Walgreens entrance. The reason, he said, is because of the ordinance as well as safety. Drivers that have a direct line of sight of each other are less likely to have accidents.

Hawk said the reason also involves vehicle stacking. She said the town staff is concerned from a safety perspective. Large tractor-trailer trucks coming from the Weigel’s proposed entrance have the potential to cause traffic problems due to a short stacking distance.

The debate over this issue has been around since 2004, when the FMPC voted to approve the subdivision of property for the store despite a staff recommendation to deny the request.

 

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