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Everett Road plans reconsidered


Approval of plans to widen Everett Road between Smith and Union roads was reconsidered during the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, Feb. 14.

Under “Robert’s Rules of Order,” a book of rules widely used to bring order to meetings and councils and used by the Farragut Board, any person voting on the prevailing side can ask for a reconsideration of the vote one meeting after the meeting at which the initial vote was cast.

At the Jan. 20 FBMA meeting, Alderwoman Mary Dorothy “Dot” LaMarche asked that the Everett Road improvements be reconsidered and the decision be postponed until Feb. 14.

Initially, LaMarche voted on Jan. 6 with Vice-Mayor Michael Haynes and Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III to include a sidewalk and walking trail only on the west side of Everett Road between Smith and Union roads.

“First, I would like to apologize for voting the wrong way twice,” LaMarche said at the Feb. 14 meeting.

“I have gone down there several times. No one has influenced me to bring this back up. I went over there, I looked at it, and I just cannot conceive that we are going to do this project but are not going to have either a walking trail or a sidewalk on the east side,” LaMarche said.

“I think down the road if we don’t do it, we’re going to be very disappointed. I would propose a sidewalk, which will give three extra feet. I simply want us to look at it again,” she added.

“Dot, I commend you, you have a lot of courage for doing this, because sometimes people make mistakes. But I truly believe you made a good decision. I have not seen anything change,” said Ron Honken, a Town planning commissioner and Fox Run resident.

According to Vice Mayor Haynes, all but one person who came to the public forums agreed that walking trails and sidewalks on both sides of Everett were unnecessary. The one person who disagreed did not live in Farragut.

“I think, all things considered, all the public opinion, the unanimous [Municipal Planning Commission], the preexisting homeowners, in my opinion, was sufficient to shift [my opinion]. I will still support what I did earlier,” Haynes said.

“I would say to all the people who came to that early meeting, that we don’t mean to just ignore you. Regardless of how this turns out, please know that some of us listen to you,” he added.

Alderman Thomas Rosseel cited, as one of his main reasons for voting for the east side sidewalk, the increased traffic on a widened Everett Road and the safety of residents of Camden Grove and Fox Den who should not have to cross the road

unnecessarily.

“This is not being built for professional cyclists, it is not being built for people who need to have wider space than is going to be available, it is simply pedestrian access for people on the west side of the road,” Alderman John Williams said.

“The residents of Camden Grove will have to cross the street no matter what. They have to cross the street to get to any other development. I have not heard anything that will not be accomplished by having the walking trail only on the east side,” Honken said.

“With all due respect, Alderman Rosseel, if I have to cross the street, I’ll put on my big boy pants and do it,” Clark Gross, an Ackley Circle resident, said. “Sometimes less is more and I think that’s the case with this.”

“If there’s one disappointment that I have had through this entire process, it’s that no other options have ever been brought to the table,” Honken said. “The homes were there first.”

“I thought this thing was put to bed. I’m really disappointed that we’re having this session tonight,” Harry Tucker, another Ackley Circle resident, said.

The Board voted to widen Everett Road between Union and Smith roads with a walking trail on the west side and a sidewalk on the east side by a majority of three to two.

 

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