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Farragut Municipal Planning Commission

The house in Fox Den subdivision that became a catacomb for cats was a topic of action by the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission during its regular Thursday meeting Aug. 7.

The Commission approved the reuse of the property at 130 Champions Point as a residence that is in keeping with the town’s comprehensive plan.

The residence came to the forefront early in July when Charles Wade Sexton, 70, and his wife, Sylvia Jeane Sexton, 68, both of a Tazewell Pike address, were charged and arrested with a combined 33 counts of cruelty to animals by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday, July 5.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested the pair based on evidence secured by Knox County Animal Control officers, who had obtained a search warrant for the couple’s 130 Champion’s Point residence following a “cat bite” complaint by a neighbor.

Officials found 26 dead animals in the Fox Den residence and later found seven dead animals at the Tazewell Pike house.

According to the warrants issued by the Knox County Attorney’s General office: “The defendant committed the offense of cruelty to animals, in violation of TCA Sec. 39-14-202. … Upon entry into the defendant’s residence [at 130 Champions Point], affiant observed 11 mummified feline bodies, five decomposing feline bodies and 10 skeletal feline remains. Pursuant to investigation the animals were not provided proper food water and the animals were confined in a cruel manner. There are numerous alive abused felines still in the residence.”

Farragut Community Development Director Ruth Hawk told commissioners the town is in the process of condemnation of the property. This approval of the reuse of the property is a first step toward the condemnation process. This means the property would be used again as a residence at some point in the future. She said the matter will go to the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen for discussion and consultation with the town


Alderman Joel Garber said the owners had been given a July 31 deadline to update the property for inspection. He asked Hawk what those inspections showed.

“No inspections have been called for,” Hawk said. “There have been no improvements.”

In unrelated matters, Hawk told FMPC Commissioners that The Farm at Willow Creek developer Chip Leonard has not honored his agreement with KUB to bring gas service to his


Chairman Robert “Bob” Hill suggested if any builders at The Farm at Willow Creek or potential homeowners have any questions, they should contact Knoxville Utility Board or the town at 865-966-7057.

In other business, the FMPC:

• approved the final plat for Chapel Glen at the request of Benchmark Associates, Inc.

• approved a request to amend the zoning ordinance to allow decorative wall fixtures at public entrances at the request of M & M Development.


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