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‘Town image’ topic during visioning session

“What kind of community do you want to be?”

That’s the question Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen began to answer at a special visioning session recently at Fox Den Country Club.

And, appropriately for a Town celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Board decided to take greater steps to preserve and promote Farragut’s history.

“We have history dating back to stage coaches,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

The Board also decided what it didn’t want to see Farragut become — a bedroom community.

“Farragut is a textbook example of post-war suburban sprawl,” Alderman Bob Markli said.

Alderman John Williams agreed.

“You don’t become a destination by being a bedroom community. The question is, is it too late to be something else?” he asked.

Williams added there was “a lot of potential for the Town to be a destination for sports events. We could have fairs and festivals around those types of things.”

Town Administrator David Smoak asked the Board to come up with concrete plans to accomplish its goals of what Farragut should be.

“A vision is something unique to the Town … shared by the community … that shows where you want to go,” he said.

Board members said they’d like to capitalize on the fact a portion of Farragut already is a shopping destination, while adding more places for people to work — hopefully decreasing the number of people who commute out of Farragut to work each day.

They also wanted to keep the aesthetic standards of Farragut high, so those driving into Farragut from Knoxville would see a difference in buildings and development.

The Board also identified some initiatives specifically for 2011, including following through with history initiatives recognizing the area’s impact in the War Between the States up to Farragut’s founding in 1980.

Also on the list were continuing explorations into a community center and putting up “Welcome” signs at all main Town entrances.

The Board also looked at a Policy Agenda for the next fiscal year, going over tasks and goals that would come to a vote if pursued.

First on the list is a comprehensive plan, which has never been done in the Town’s history.

“This is the community’s vision for the future — where they want to see the Town,” Smoak said. Comprehensive plans are not about wants; they are about what will be done in the next 10 to 20 years of the Town’s life.

“This is every single thing the Town does,” Smoak said.

Strategic planning was next on the agenda: evaluating the Town’s mission, goals and objectives for the next five to 10 years. Rounding out the list were a future land use plan, transportation plan and new or refreshed design standards for commercial development.

Those new areas of commercial development could include finding another avenue for the planned Downtown Farragut concept.

“Something like that could set you apart because it would give you something unique,” Smoak told the Board.

Finally, the Board briefly looked over its urban growth boundaries: the agreed-upon boundaries Farragut can annex, including areas along Kingston Pike, Concord Road, Boyd Station Road and Outlet Drive.

“We can grow into one more square mile,” Smoak said of the currently 16-square mile Town.


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