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FBMA postpones red-light camera vote again

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen decided, once again, to postpone a vote on automated red-light enforcement cameras and made a decision concerning Hickory Woods Homeowners Association’s request to rebuild its subdivision sign at its Thursday, Nov. 8, meeting at Town Hall.

A motion was made and seconded to amend the agenda to postpone a decision to vote on an ordinance that would allow automated red-light enforcement cameras to be placed at intersections deemed by the Town to be at risk for stoplight violations, until more information can be obtained from the state as to legal issues that might arise from the use of the cameras.

Alderman Tom Rosseel cast the only dissenting vote in the otherwise unanimous decision.

“I think the preliminary report was quite clear that the House and Senate at first had some doubts about allowing towns all across the state to have the red-light cameras ordinance passed, but they made it pretty clear that their main objection had to do with putting speed controls on interstates. We have clarified a number of issues in terms of what constitutes a violation, the privacy issues, the fact that the vendor issue has been addressed so the ordinance does not favor one vendor over another and we have addressed funds generated and possible funds lost,” he said.

Rosseel added if the vote was delayed it could possibly be April before the use of cameras goes into effect, should it be passed.

“I think this is a public safety issue and I believe we should pass it on first reading tonight. If there is a change we still have the chance to make modifications as appropriate and as dictated by the state,” he said.

The motion passed with a vote of three to one with Alderman John Williams not in


Hickory Woods Homeowners Association was given the go-ahead to reconstruct its subdivision sign within the right-of-way area, which is Town property.

Ruth Hawk, Town Community Development Director, said, “Our ordinance currently does not allow for that because [FBMA] has full jurisdiction over that. In this particular case, the only objection that staff has, and the homeowner’s association is fully aware of, is utility [companies] can damage their sign and they [homeowner’s association] would be fully responsible.”

“The location that they are proposing, however, does not create a sight distance problem or any of the traditional things we would be concerned about. There is really no place else to put it. This is one of the older subdivisions that does not have the easement platted on private property as we now require on the new subdivisions,” she added.

Fiona Hill, a member of Hickory Woods sign committee, said the current sign, which is made of wood, has deteriorated to the point that it needs to be replaced.

“We want to replace it with a sign that is more reflective of our neighborhood. The new sign would be constructed of stacked stone with a solid stone surface that we feel would be an upgrade to the sign that is currently there, which we feel has become embarrassing to our neighborhood,” she said.

Sketches of the proposed sign provided by Hill show it to be approximately the same size as the existing sign.

In other business:

An ordinance was approved on first reading to rezone Lot 203, Sheffield-Unit one, located adjacent to Little turkey Creek and on Thornbush Lane, 5.39 acres from an agricultural district to R-1 single-family district.

An ordinance was approved on first reading to rezone parcel two, tax map 152BA, located on the southwest corner of McFee and Allen Kirby Roads, 2.43 acres from R-2 general single-family residential district to R-1 rural single-family residential district.

The town of Farragut’s first quarter status report for fiscal year 2008 Work Program was approved.

• Changes to the Farragut Folklife Museum by-laws were approved.


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