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EDC calls for sign ordinance to be all inclusive

Farragut’s Economic Development Committee recommended that Farragut’s revised special events permit ordinance be inclusive of all businesses at its meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3.

“A business is a business,” Jim Holladay said.

The EDC was picking up discussion of changes to a Town ordinance that regulates how many special events — such as sales, grand openings and festivals — that businesses or shopping centers can have.

Two days before, Farragut Business Alliance members had discussed the same ordinance changes and made recommendations of their own.

The EDC immediately took issue with the fact the revised ordinance would limit participants only to retail businesses in commercial districts. In other words, no offices or banks would be included.

“I think it’s discriminatory to some of the businesses in Town,” Alderman Bob Markli said.

He made a motion to recommend the new ordinance include all businesses — including offices and such — located in the Town’s main commercial zoning districts, a motion approved by the EDC.

But Jim Nixon of Turkey Creek Land Partners noted there was another business left off the list — Turkey Creek Public Market, which Nixon and TCLP principal John Turley helped open off Outlet Drive.

Community Development director Ruth Hawk, who is drafting the changed ordinance, said the number of businesses inside the Public Market could be a concern.

“If you have 500 tenants, you could have 500 temporary signs out front. ... There would be a vast barrage of signs because of the number of tenants,” Hawk said.

The Public Market has more than 600 booth spaces inside, with more available out-of-doors.

Nixon noted his conflict of interest but said, “I disagree with it.”

“I agree every tenant over there shouldn’t be able to do it, but our ownership would want to take advantage of this,” he added.

David Purvis, president of Farragut Business Alliance, asked if the ordinance couldn’t include the Public Market — which has a unique zoning of C2RW — but limit the special events signs to only the building, not the tenants.

Hawk said that played into an already existing problem with multi-tenant facilities, including many shopping centers around Town, that could all conceivably apply for special events permits at the same time.

Purvis, however, noted the special events permit already existed and was merely being changed, and that the Town should not expect a sudden barrage of permit applications.

Markli ultimately made a motion to add the C2RW zone to the list of accepted areas that could apply for special event permits, and the motion was approved by the EDC with Nixon abstaining.

The special events permit allows, among other things, businesses to place a temporary sign near the road advertising their events.

Under the new rules — if they’re adopted — the signs would measure, at maximum, 20 square feet with four square feet dedicated to the “Shop Farragut” logo and website. The signs would have to be set back 20 feet from the main roadway and 20 feet from the business driveway.

Under the special events permit, businesses are allowed to erect signs four times a year, 10 days per event.


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