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Pilot permit prompts Campbell Sta. sign talks

A long-standing issue with a nonconforming sign came to bear on a request for a beer permit at Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Thursday, May 27.

Pilot Corp. requested an off-premise beer permit for a gas station it recently has acquired at the corner of Kingston Pike and Watt Road, formerly a Texaco.

“I understand that Pilot Corporation is in violation of our sign ordinance at their store on Campbell Station Road. I wondered if that had any bearing on this,” Alderman Bob Markli asked.

Tom Hale, Town Attorney, said that matter was in litigation.

The Town first filed a lawsuit against Pilot in 2006, after the Pilot at 701 Campbell Station Road demolished its original building and built a new one. It also changed the faces of its large sign and installed new signs.

After that, its non-conforming sign was no longer grandfathered. Although Pilot sought and received approval from the Town for a new, conforming ground-mounted sign, it never installed it.

Pilot’s attorney is Gregory P. Isaacs.

“We do have in our regulations some provisions … that suggest that the Town has the discretion, in the event there is a violation of one regulation, to take that into account when it’s asked to consider another permit request,” Hale said.

However, Hale said he wasn’t sure if those provisions applied in this case.

“If someone was just not following our regulations and had a history or practice of doing that, I think that might raise a more clear issue as to whether we authorize them to do other things within the Town,” Hale said.

“But I think in this situation … I really think it would not be appropriate to let that litigation affect this independent request.

“To me they’re separate,” he added.

According to Hale, Pilot has applied for a new, conforming sign at the Watt Road/Kingston Pike location.

“So it sounds like it would be inappropriate to inflict some sort of punishment on one store in a chain because one of them’s in violation, unless it’s a clear and flagrant violation?” Markli asked.

“I can see a judge thinking that was pretty heavy-handed,” Hale said.

Hale said he didn’t believe there was a legitimate contest in the litigation over the Campbell Station Road Pilot’s non-conforming sign.

“Pilot obviously takes a different position than that,” he added.


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