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Office zoning proposed for Grigsby Chapel land

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission discussed at length the possibilities of office space development along Grigsby Chapel Road at its meeting, Thursday, Sept. 18.

Discussion centered on rezoning a parcel of land from O-1 (Office Space 1) to O-1-3 to allow certain development and to correspond with adjacent land already zoned O-1-3.

The land is situated between Chapel Grove and the Farragut Medical building.

“The uses that are allowed in the O-1-3 and the O-1 are identical … except that [in O-1-3] no building shall exceed three stories or 42 feet,” said Community Development Director Ruth Hawk.

O-1 allows for buildings to be no more than 35 feet tall.

According to Hawk, G&G Grigsby Chapel Partnership wants the extra height allowance so they can design the office buildings to have pitched roofs.

“Frankly, the three story is not what I would have imagined there … the height will be so dissimilar to what’s around,” Connie Rutenber said.

Carol Evans agreed, saying the natural elevation of the land would make the three stories much higher than surrounding buildings.

Jerry Whitehead of G&G said the three-story buildings would be built on the lowest part of the land; two-story buildings would be built at the highest points. Nothing would be constructed near the walking trail.

Gene Rudesill, spokesman for Chapel Grove homeowner’s association, supported the request for rezoning, saying it was the difference between “five or six two-story buildings and three or four three-story buildings.”

“The terrain goes down. I doubt if you’re even going to see that third level from Grigsby Chapel Road,” he said, adding a smaller footprint will save more trees.

Whitehead said he wanted to “cut fewer trees.

“It’s already zoned for what we’re going to do and we already have a plan for what we’re going to do, but the ability to go to three stories makes us preserve more green space.”

FMPC Chair Bob Hill observed the size of the buildings also would change parking requirements.

Whitehead said he planned to share parking with Farragut Medical because both developments will be on the same property.

However, Holly Sparks, whose company, Lillibridge, owns the Farragut Medical building, said parking was already full. The two buildings would not be able to share use of the parking lot.

Rutenber and Evans said parking requirements would not decrease unless square footage was cut. According to Hawk, any parking problems would be a private issue because the land is one parcel.

Hawk reminded Commission they were not discussing specific development plans, only whether the land was suitable for O-1-3 rezoning.

“We’ve been so careful for so many years about allowing three stories … and I don’t know that this is an appropriate place,” Rutenber said.

The agenda item was for discussion only, so no action was taken.

In other business, Commission:

• Elected officers: Bob Hill was elected as chair, Ed St. Clair as vice chair and Carol Evans as secretary.

• Approved a site plan for temporary administration offices at Baptist Hospital West.

The temporary buildings will be used until the hospital’s newest addition, a three-story building to contain offices and endoscopy rooms, is completed.

Rusty Baksa, Land Development Solutions, said the portable buildings would hopefully be used for a maximum of two years.

Emmett Pressley, spokesman for Mercy Health, said the hospital hopes to break ground on the new building in coming weeks.

• Approved a site plan for Rockwell Farm pool house, which allows the pool house to be enclosed.

• Approved amendments to a site plan for Click Funeral Home renovations, allowing a renovated entrance and bells to be placed in the bell tower.

• Approved a site plan for Red Robin restaurant, 11415 Parkside Drive, set to open in spring 2009.

• Amended the Major Road Plan to add Brooklawn Street as a local collector, change Fretz Road from North Campbell Station Road to Town limits from a local street to major collector, change Fleenor Road from a local street to local collector and amend location of Outlet Drive to match the platted location.


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