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Safety issue at Concord RV park meeting

Developers and residents gathered Tuesday, March 27, in a meeting suggested by members of the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission to discuss a proposed development along Concord Road.

No members of the FMPC were on hand, but Community Development Director Ruth Hawk and Assistant Town Administrator Gary Palmer were present to field questions concerning town ordinances.

Developer Oliver Smith and Lee Johnson, husband of Ann Ralston, met with neighbors to discuss their concerns of a proposed recreational vehicle, antique car and boat storage business proposed for the Ralston property. The proposed business would have a boat ramp with access to a cove of Lake Loudoun.

The cove access seemed to be a key point of contention.

“I think we all appreciate your putting together these packets of information,” Troy Hart, resident and attorney, said. “It seems to us the cove is a very big issue.”

Hart said the neighbors were concerned about the distance across the cove from the proposed boat ramp and the number of boaters that already crowd the cove. More boaters launching from the proposed storage facility, he said, would cause safety issues.

“It’s about five hundred feet across from bank to bank,” Johnson said.

Smith said they had checked with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and that was an acceptable distance.

Another neighbor said he had been a boater for 44 years and he wasn’t convinced of the proposal’s safety.

“We’re not here to convince you,” Smith said. “We’re here to give you information.”

“I notice you want your boat dock to come out,” Hart said. “If it comes out, you don’t have five-hundred feet of accessibility. It wouldn’t be safe.”

“Safety is something T-W-R-A- will decide,” Johnson said.

“Mister Johnson, with all respect, safety is our key issue,” Hart said.

“And that’s why we are here today,” Johnson said.

One neighbor commented that he thought the proposed storage center would funnel more people into the cove, possibly 40 to 50 boats at one time.

“People already come into that cove and don’t leave,” Hart said.

“I think we’re saying it’s not possible to have that many people out there at one time,” Smith said.

“I think that statement shows how out of touch you are with the concerns of our community,” Hart said. “You have no clue what’s important to our area.”

Hart said the addition of a boat ramp could draw other boaters than just those in the storage facility.

Hawk said Bridgewater subdivision had that type of problem when they added boat ramp access for community members.

“They had to gate it just to keep the traffic out,” she said.

Smith said the proposed storage facility would have gated access, allowing only those with key or code access to the ramp.

The matter is expected to go before FMPC members in coming weeks.


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