Place Ad
Contact Us

Sink hole site plan approved

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission unanimously approved a site plan for a private residence off Evans Road, subject to verification that a drainage field would not be damaged during construction of a new driveway.

“The proposed site plan meets all of our requirements; we did have a concern with where the aerial photograph shows what appears to be the drain field,” Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said.

“All we want is verification that the drain field at this location, that the grading does not conflict with it,” she added.

Despite the site plan’s compliance with Town regulations, the applicants discussed at length the proper channels for determining if a depression in the drainage field was, or was not, a sinkhole.

If the depression were a sinkhole, it would require development to stay away from the area, which the Hoover’s plan did anyway.

“All we’re trying to do is determine, is this a sinkhole, or is it not a sinkhole?” Randy Case, contractor, said, adding he did not understand who had designated the depression a sinkhole in the first place.

“What we were told, by an engineer … [is that] not every depression of lower elevation is a sinkhole,” Case said.

The dip at the Hoover property, he added, did not have common characteristics of sinkholes: there was no stair-stepping, and water did not drain from the depression.

However, Hawk said most sinkholes in this area appeared to be, on the surface, simply depressions in the ground.

“We could have them drill it, and check it, and tell you 100 percent … that’ll cost us $3,000,” Case said.

“We’re trying to avoid that,” he added.

Case said he was told that sinkholes often were designated by “flying over” and identifying depressions.

In an area riddled with known sinkholes, depressions often were lumped together with the assumption they, too, were sinkholes.

“You can’t designate a sinkhole from flying over,” Case said.

Hawk said the sinkhole showed up in Knox County geography records.

“This whole area, there’s a band of sinkholes … there’s quite a few,” she said, adding that the Town would need a TDEC statement in order to verify the depression was not a sinkhole.

However, homeowner Jill Hoover said TDEC wouldn’t provide her one. The representative who visited the site had informed her they did not have any jurisdiction on private property.

“She realized it was a private residence, and she said, ‘We have no jurisdiction over private residences, period,’” Hoover said.

“She in no way said it was a sinkhole; she in no way said it was not,” she added.

Rochelle moved to approve the site plan; Cindy Hollyfield seconded. The motion was unanimously approved, with commissioners Ron Honken and Dot LaMarche absent.

However, the homeowners said the sinkhole versus depression issue had not yet been resolved.

“The sinkhole saga will continue, I am sure,” Hollyfield said.


News | Opinion | Sports | Business | Community | Schools | Obituaries | Announcements
Classifieds | Place Ad | Advertising | Contact Us | Archives | Search

© 2004-2017 farragutpress