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Construction begins on disputed Weigel’s store


Rebuilding is underway on Weigel’s Farm Store at the intersection of Smith Road and Kingston Pike, a highlight to more than two years of effort and countless public meetings.

Construction crews have laid the foundation for the new store building, removed the gasoline pumps and tanks that adorned the front of the property, but have yet to tear down the former store. The former building has dotted the Farragut landscape since the 1960s.

Weigel’s president Ken McMullen said to Farragut town officials the building would be very similar in design and size to the store on N. Campbell Station Road.


“We’re happy we can finally proceed,” he said.

McMullen said the Smith Road store would have the same number of gasoline pumps as the North Campbell Station Road store, allowing more patrons easy access to refuel their vehicles.

The store would have a right-in, right out access point off Kingston Pike and a full entrance and exit from Smith Road 120 feet from the intersection of Smith Road and Kingston Pike.

Weigel’s company officials worked to get plans for the store passed through town channels. One contention concerned access points for the store.

In May 2006, Farragut Municipal Planning Commission members discussed the matter. The point of disagreement between the town and Weigel’s seemed to center around the proposed location for the Smith Road entrance and exit. Plans showed the store’s proposed entrance on the Smith Road side of the facility rests about 100 feet from the intersection of Kingston Pike, which didn’t meet the town’s distance requirement of 200 feet on a collector road.

Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said at the time town staff was recommending Weigel’s line up its Smith Road entrance directly across from the Walgreen’s entrance. The reason, she 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. The reason also involves vehicle stacking. She said town staff is concerned from a safety perspective. Large tractor-trailer trucks coming from Weigel’s proposed entrance have the potential to cause traffic problems due to a short stacking distance.

Hawk and town officials had suggested in past meetings a full entrance and exit point directly across from Sugarwood subdivision, which provoked a furor from Sugarwood

residents.

Sugarwood residents asked FMPC members make sure the right-in-right-out is severe enough angle-wise to prevent illegal left turns.

Randall Roberts, a Sugarwood resident, asked the commissioners to consider eliminating the right out onto Kingston Pike and asked them to consider eliminating the left turn from the entrance across from Sugarwood. He said residents feared a head-on

collision.

 

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