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Town tells resident, ‘stop work’
Town says work could jeopardize floodplain insurance, Solution sought


A meeting between Town staff and one Farragut citizen cleared some misunderstandings but not enough to lift a Stop Work Order issued by the Town.

The controversy came to light when a stop work order issued on a 38-acre private residence at 503 Concord Road, registered to William and Deane Conley, prompted a debate at the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, Aug. 23.

Noah Myers, of Myers Brothers Holdings, represented himself regarding renovations to the personal property. Ruth Hawk, Town community development director, and Dan Hawk, the Governor-appointed National Floodplain Insurance Program safe floodplain coordinator, spoke on behalf of the Town during the citizen’s forum.

“I am here before you tonight because I feel that I have been unjustly served with a stop work order that the town of Farragut does not have jurisdiction in,” Myers said.

He added that Thursday, Aug. 9, he met with town staff to discuss repairs on a section of the driveway that had deteriorated. Staff reminded him that a portion of the driveway was in a 100-year and a 500-year floodplain and informed him that he would need a no rise letter prepared by a civil engineer certifying that the repairs would not create additional flooding upstream.

Myers said he hired a civil engineer with experience in hydrology. The civil engineer surveyed the proposed repair and issued the no rise letter Thursday, Aug. 16, which Myers then forwarded to the Town.

“Yesterday, I proceeded with repairing the driveway, per the recommendations made by the civil engineer. Yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Hawk visited the site. She said that I did not have a permit to repair the driveway and that I was in violation of the aquatic buffer. She went on to say that she would have a stop work order issued.”

Myers reminded the board that according to the municipal code, single-family residences were exempt from the aquatic buffer.

“All the construction that was done here was done in accordance with a licensed civil engineer,” he said.

“I am hereby respectfully requesting that the town lift the stop work order on the basis that the repairs were made in accordance with Town regulations and the civil engineer’s instructions.”

Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III requested that Ruth Hawk give, from her perspective, the reasoning behind the action she took.

“In approximately 1990, Farragut was removed from the Floodplain Flood Insurance program because of the very same property,” Ruth Hawk said.

She added that if the Town was removed from the program again, it would nullify the Town’s flood insurance and there would be “a lot of homeowners who are quite upset.”

She stated that this information was explained to Myers in the meeting Aug. 9.

She added that Myers also had been informed that the no rise letter had to be accompanied by a Hydrologic Engineer Center-Reservoir Evaluation System study, to verify that there is no rise within the floodway in order to comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations.

Alderman Tom Rosseel suggested that the board hear from Dan Hawk, as the state’s expert.

Dan Hawk said, “To participate in the National Flood Insurance program, you have to keep records. The engineering that goes behind these permits, this is a process that is required in your regulations. These are your regulations.”

He reminded the Board that when they went through the adoption process for these regulations, that it was made very clear to them that “you are responsible for the actions you take and those actions are what keeps you current in the program and allows you to

participate.”

Ford suggested that Myers and the Hawks meet with Tom Hale, town attorney, and Dan Olson, town administrator, Tuesday, Aug. 28, to try and reach “the decision that both parties are looking for.”

In the meeting between Ruth Hawk, Noah Myers, Hale and Stanley Harrison, regional director for the state planning offices in Tennessee, it was determined that the stop work order would stay in place until additional information from FEMA has been reviewed by Myers’ engineer.

Hale said, “After [the engineer] reviews the information from FEMA he is going to get back with Harrison and they are going to determine exactly what information needs to be calculated and submitted to ensure that the work [Myers] is doing does not change anything in the floodway such that it will cause a rise in the water level in flood events.”

Hale added that he thought it was a “good meeting” and that he did not think anyone was intentionally trying to do anything wrong.

“There was a major misunderstanding about the importance of getting proper permits before beginning the work. [Myers] thought he had done what he needed to do, when I fact, he may not have,” Hale said.

He added, “If there are not any more calculations that need to done, he will get his permit and will be able to finish the work that he started in the flood way.”

 

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