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Chamber CEO backs Public Market
BOMA passes PM concept on second reading


Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the concept of the Public Market at its meeting Thursday, Feb. 25.

The Public Market will be located at the former Outlet Mall property off Outlet Drive.

“I have had a lot of comments about the open market, and the excitement has been very strong about the possibility of that happening,” Bettye Sisco, Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, told the Board.

The Board approved an ordinance allowing public markets in a certain zoning district, C2-RW. The Outlet Mall property is the only land in Farragut zoned C2-RW.

That ordinance allows the property several exceptions to normal commercial zoning districts, Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said.


The ordinance allows outdoor sales but not outdoor storage, allows “sheet flow” drainage and allows 75 percent building lot coverage instead of the normal 70 percent.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Jim Nixon, Turkey Creek Land Partners principal and representative for Public Market owner Charles Atchley Sr., if the property would have security during hours it is not open.

“We intend to have what security we think is necessary. We know we’ll have security there Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Nixon said.

“Everything will be locked when it’s closed,” he added.

The Public Market will be open only on weekends at first.

Alderman John Williams expressed a concern the ordinance could be considered “spot zoning,” an action prohibited by the State of Tennessee.

Hawk said spot zoning was when one parcel is zoned something “totally incongruent with surrounding zoning districts and uses.”

“If someone came in Concord Road, Campbell Station Road, Watt Road, Kingston Pike, and said they wanted to zone to C2-RW, that would not be appropriate,” Hawk said.

But the Outlet Mall’s surrounding areas are commercial, warehouse and light industrial. Nixon pointed out that land on three sides of the Public Market was not even in Farragut.

“We chose this route because nothing else would be affected,” Nixon said of the zoning ordinance change.

Another parcel in the Town could be rezoned to C2-RW, and all the Public Market’s exceptions would carry to that parcel, Town Attorney Tom Hale said.

Elliott also asked Town staff to “walk us through the Sales Tax collections” since the Public Market would be “a somewhat unique retail situation.”

According to Hawk and Town Administrator David Smoak, “garage sale” items would not be subject to Sales Tax, but any other items, new or used, would be.

“It’s very difficult for the Town to control, police and collect Sales Tax. That’s a state function, to collect Sales Tax revenue,” Smoak said.

“It’s really up to the businesses out there to properly record their sales and give that to the state,” he added.

Elliott asked Nixon to estimate how much of the expected merchandise at the Market would be new.

After conferring a moment with Atchley, Nixon said about 95 percent of the total merchandise sold at the Market likely would be new.

“I don’t know how much [Sales Tax] this will generate. I expect it to be substantial,” Nixon said.

Alderman Bob Markli moved to accept the ordinance change; Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche seconded. The motion was approved unanimously.

 

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