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Residents voice ‘The Farm’ concerns at FMPC meeting


Lot owners and potential residents of The Farm at Willow Creek thronged to the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting with the mistaken impression an item affecting their subdivision would be on the agenda Thursday, March 1.

The expected item wasn’t on the agenda, but the future residents of the subdivision took the opportunity to express concerns and displeasure about the state of events in their development.

“To us, this is no longer a development,” Tom Allen, owner of lot 87 in the development, said. “This is where we are going to live.”

Allen expressed concern about insufficient lighting in the development, wondering if the town had addressed the matter.

Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said developer Chip Leonard has shown town staff two types of fixtures for The Farm at Willow Creek, both of which satisfied town ordinances.

“We’re not accusing the town of letting us down,” Allen said. “I know you’re frustrated with the developer, but we would appreciate a little sympathy in your response to us.”

“We’ve gotten numerous calls on this,” Hawk said. “We’re happy to talk to any of you.”

Residents asked when they might be able to start building homes on their lots.

Town engineer Darryl Smith said there are still several

items the developer has not

completed.

Some residents expressed concern about the development’s detention pond. In September 2006, severe rain storms hit West Knox County. As a result, water from the detention pond, Smith said, ran around the pipe in the pond instead of through the pipe. That water runoff washed out sediments underneath roads in the subdivision, creating large holes in the roadway, some of which were 10- to 20-feet deep.

Smith said town staff had been notified by the developer the matter had been dealt with.

This isn’t the first difficulty town staff has had with the Farm at Willow Creek. In February 2006, Arthur Seymour, Leonard’s attorney, asked the FMPC to explain why Leonard’s final plat hadn’t been set on the FMPC agenda for final approval.

Town engineer Darryl Smith explained to commissioners at that time that Leonard had agreed to complete 1,700 feet of road running into the subdivision. He showed commissioners photos of Evans Road in which some dirt had been moved, but no asphalt had been laid.

Smith said there were several items that hadn’t been completed on the town’s standard punch list, a set of items which must be done before the town staff gives final approval to a development.

In August of last year, Hawk told the FMPC that the Farm at Willow Creek developer had not honored his agreement with KUB to bring gas service to his development. An agreement was eventually reached with Knoxville Utilities Board to provide gas service to the subdivision.

 

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