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BOMA vetoes commercial flags


Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen narrowly denied hotels the ability to fly commercial flags at its Dec. 10 meeting.

“It has always been strictly prohibited in the past,” Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said.

According to Hawk, an ordinance allowing hotels to fly commercial flags would be unfair for three reasons: 1, it gives chain hotels an unfair advantage over local hotels, 2, it gives hotels an unfair advantage over other businesses and 3, it allows commercial flags to be flown higher than any other commercial sign is allowed.

“I see this as the advertising equivalent of spot zoning,” Alderman John Williams said.


“I’m not going to support this,” he added.

Alderman Jeff Elliott agreed: “It’s a sign, basically.”

Mayor Ralph McGill, who asked that the item be put on the Town’s work program, said, “big chains have an inherent advantage,” regardless of flags.

Best Buy, he said, already has an advantage over “Joe’s TV Shop.”

“Then I don’t see the advantages [of a flag] for someone who already has name recognition,” Elliott said.

“You can tell when you come into Farragut; it looks different. … I just see this as opening a huge can of worms,” he added.

Hawk called the amendment the first step down a slippery slope: if approved, it would be harder to deny commercial flags for any other businesses in the future.

McGill said, “I don’t know why this necessarily spills into everywhere else.”

Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche agreed with the Mayor.

“I don’t have a problem with it, myself,” she said.

LaMarche made a motion to accept the amendment; the motion died for lack of a second.

Alderman Bob Markli moved to deny the amendment; Elliott seconded.

The motion passed 3 to 2, with LaMarche and McGill dissenting.

Town staff, Visual Resources Review Board, and Farragut Municipal Planning Commission all also voted not to allow hotels to fly commercial flags.

In related business, the Board unanimously passed, on first reading, an ordinance to amend the Farragut Municipal Code, to define “flagpoles” and “government flags,” and to clarify mounting locations for government flags.

In other business, the Board:

• Passed, on first reading, an ordinance to amend the Farragut Municipal Code, to amend Title 1, General Administration, Chapter 3 Recorder, Section 1-307 Copies of Records and Ordinances

Under the new ordinance, copies of public records would cost 15 cents for black-and-white and 20 cents for color copies. The ordinance allows the Town seven days to respond to an applicant’s request, or to inform them why the Town cannot process the request.

The ordinance also gives the Town a denial letter.

All the new forms, and the amendment, are from the state’s Open Records Council.

• Passed, on first reading, an ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance, to define “pergola” and “arbor” and to allow arbors and pergolas to be built within the 50-foot building setback

• Passed, on first reading, an ordinance to amend the Farragut Municipal Code, to include provisions concerning municipal court authorized by Tennessee Municipal Court Reform Act of 2004

• Passed, on first reading, an ordinance to rezone parcels 13 and 14, tax map 153AG, 730 Landing Lane and 722 Red Mill Lane, from R-4 to R-2

 

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