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Costco site plan approved

When a retail business is being constructed on a lot that falls within town of Farragut, Knox County and Tennessee Department of Transportation jurisdictions, there are always complications.

When that business is expected to generate 10,000 trips a day through one of the area’s busiest intersections, those complications are compounded.

And those are the issues Farragut’s Municipal Planning Commission considered when it looked over, and ultimately approved, Costco’s site plans at its meeting Thursday, July 21.

“We will have something you are happy with,” Costco spokesman Jeff Rudder said.

That approval didn’t come without concessions from Costco and the site’s developers, Schaad Companies, to Town requests and regulations.

Topping the list was a request that Costco and Schaad relocate Farlow Drive to line up with the retail warehouse’s planned Kingston Pike entrance. Farlow Drive isn’t in Farragut.

Farragut, however, is requiring that the developers submit to Knox County — in whose jurisdiction the road lies — a plan for relocating Farlow. Once the plan has been submitted and approved by the County, Farragut will issue Costco its building permit.

Relocating Farlow will then be a Knox County, TDOT (because Kingston Pike is a state street) and Costco project.

Noah Myers, at his first meeting as an FMPC member, said, “A signal for those residents would no doubt be an improvement.”

Other requirements of the developer included installing a “pork-chop” island at the current Walgreens entrance to make it a right-in, right-out only and adding a deceleration lane at the Walgreens entrance, among various other clarifications and corrections on the site plan.

Alderman Ron Honken ultimately moved to accept Costco’s site plans; planning commissioner Ed St. Clair seconded, and the motion was unanimously approved.

FMPC also approved several variances for the site plan, including two that would allow variations from the Town’s normal requirements for distances between driveways. It would allow a Costco entrance to be constructed on Lovell Road, lining up with the Weichert Realtors building driveway, and another entrance to be constructed on Kingston Pike, lining up near the current APR Recycling lot.

“These were the best locations we could come up with,” Farragut community development director Ruth Hawk said.

Both Costco entrances will be signalized.

St. Clair asked just how many trips a day Costco was expecting to generate, and just how much worse traffic would be at an already congested intersection.

John Gould, of Wilbur Smith & Associates, said the estimate is 10,000 trips a day, with 8,500 expected “new” trips, or vehicles that would be traveling through the intersection that normally wouldn’t be.

He also had a breakdown for where those travelers are expected to be coming from: 45 percent from Turkey Creek or the Interstate, 25 percent from Kingston Pike going west, 25 percent from Kingston Pike going east and 5 percent from Canton Hollow Road.

Three to 6 p.m. are expected to be peak hours, with the Lovell Road-Kingston Pike interchange operating at a minimal level of service “D,” an acceptable level in urban conditions.

Costco’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.


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