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Changes to special events signage pondered

Farragut’s Economic Development Committee will have more opportunities to discuss changes to the Town’s sign ordinance for special events, after requesting time to digest information at its May meeting.

“This is certainly one of the most controversial things going on,” The Shrimp Dock owner Phil Dangel said.

“The Farragut Business Alliance really started over this issue,” he added, in reference to issues with Farragut’s oft-maligned sign ordinance.

Community Development Director Ruth Hawk came before the EDC to explain proposed changes to the Town’s special events permit, which allows businesses the use of special signs to promote grand openings or sales.

According to Hawk, the “biggest change we’re proposing is the size of the signs.”

The amended ordinance would reduce the size of allowable signs from 32 square feet to 16.

Businesses holding special events would still be allowed to hold four events a year, with each event lasting 10 days or less.

Another change would be that the special events permit could be used by businesses and places of worship, but not by offices.

Hawk said that, to make things easier on business owners, the signs would now be required to be set back 20 feet from the edge of the curb or street, rather than measuring setback from the right-of-way.

“A lot of people don’t really know where the right-of-way is,” Hawk said.

Community events, such as Red, White & Blues or Taste of Farragut, would not be regulated by the same ordinance.

The special events permit really applies only to individual businesses holding special events just for themselves, Hawk said.

None of those changes would affect the “Shop Farragut” campaign.

The EDC didn’t vote on any of the proposed changes; members instead asked Hawk to return at a later meeting for further discussion. They’d likely make a recommendation on the changes to Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen then.

In other business, the EDC:

• Discussed adding a section to the Town’s Annual Report that includes information about sales taxes and doing business in Farragut

• Approved allocating the rest of its budget for the current fiscal year — a little more than $3,000 — to Town administrator David Smoak for advertising options, which “may or may not” include a special with Fox43’s new morning news show.

Pamela Treacy, Campbell Station Wine & Spirits, made that motion, seconded by Brad Fitch of Pathway Lending.

“So we’re just going to spend it,” R. Knick Myers, Myers Bros. Holdings, said.


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