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FBMA postpones ‘red-light’ decision

Automated red-light enforcement, rezoning requests, a special events permit and the Board’s holiday season meeting schedule highlighted the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen Meeting held at Town Hall Thursday, Oct 11.

Gary Palmer, associate town administrator, presented a proposal for an ordinance to amend title 15 of the Farragut municipal code to adopt and establish an automated red-light enforcement program and to establish penalties within such a program.

“This issue came about due to a rapid increase in local traffic at a number of our major intersections,” Palmer said. “We had a few accidents at those intersections and the town staff was tasked with finding an alternative to address this issue.

“Town engineering staff conducted a visual study of red-light violations at four of our major intersections. Those intersections were Kingston Pike and Concord Road, Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, Kingston Pike and Smith Road and Kingston pike and Parkside Drive.”

“The study proved a high number of red-light violations at these intersections,” Palmer added.

Currently the Town does not have an ordinance in place to allow the enforcement of this red-light camera system.

Town attorney Tom Hale suggested that some of the wording in the ordinance concerning penalties needed to be adjusted. He recommended that voting on the ordinance be delayed until Palmer returns from a scheduled meeting in Nashville Tuesday, Oct 30, to discuss the transportation issues Tennessee Municipal League wishes to address regarding some possible legislation that might limit the right of the Town to adopt this red light enforcement system.

Palmer said he is going to the meeting so he can see first-hand the response of communities that have implemented this program and to hear the pros and cons.

“[The TML] is pushing for [this program]. My impression is that there are members of the state, or at least the committee, that are looking for reasons to disallow it. I know there has been a push in the past for some legislation to not allow this in the local government, and that is not just here, that is all over the nation,” he added.

In a memo inviting Palmer to the meeting, Magaret Mahery, a spokesperson for TML, said: “It is imperative this authority be preserved for not only those municipalities currently utilizing these cameras but for those desiring to do so in the future.”

The Board voted unanimously to postpone hearing the ordinance until Palmer returns from Nashville.

Ruth Hawk, community development director, presented a request on behalf of Turkey Creek Land Partners to rezone two separate portions of land parcel 191.06 Tax Map 130 from O-1-3 office district to C-2 regional commercial district; to rezone a portion of this same parcel from C-2 regional commercial district to O-1-3 office district; to rezone a portion of the Heron Road right-of-way from C-2 regional commercial district to O-1-3 office district; to rezone a portion of parcel of 191.5, tax map 130 from C-1 general commercial district to C-2 regional commercial district and to rezone a portion pf parcel; 11.08 tax map 130 from general commercial district to C-2 regional commercial district.

“The purpose of this request is to have the zoning lines follow future property lines. These rezonings are of small corners of property and will not affect the buffer strip requirements,” Hawk said.

She added that Town staff and Farragut Municipal Planning Commission recommended appro-val of the ordinance. The Board unanimously approved the


Hawk presented a request on behalf of Robert Skinner, Farragut resident, to add ponds as an exception to the ordinance governing lot coverage.

The current zoning ordinance defines lot coverage as that portion of the lot that is covered by any non-vegetative surface, including but not limited to buildings, decks, swimming pools, asphalt, concrete and rock of all sizes — any surface that is the opposite of a previous surface. On single family lots 15,000 square feet or larger, however, the water surface area of a permanent swimming pool is not counted toward lot coverage.

“Mr. Skinner lives in Vista subdivision which is zoned R-1 rural single family residential district. The Skinners constructed a pond with associated decorative hardscape. As a result, their lot coverage was in violation of the ordinance,” Hawk said.

Hawk proposed the language “or a pond” be added to the existing lot coverage ordinance. The Board unanimously approved the amendment.

Whitney Kelly, a representative for Baptist Health Systems Foundation, requested a special events permit for the BHSF Turkey Trot scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 17.

The Turkey Trot is a 5K run that would require the westbound lanes of Parkside drive to be closed for approximately 30 minutes during the race.

The permit was granted unanimously under conditions insurance coverage provided by Baptist Health Systems covered the Town in case of an accident.

Dan Olson, town administrator suggested an amendment to the FBMA schedule in light of the upcoming holiday season.

It was unanimously decided that the meeting scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 22 and Thursday, Dec. 27, be cancelled.


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