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Board clears Costco hurdle

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved — in a 10-minute special-called meeting — a correction to a zoning map to reflect the reality of a 50-foot buffer zone separating Powell Acres subdivision from the Costco development.

There was only one comment from a small contingent of Powell Acres residents at the Thursday, Aug. 18 meeting.

“I think we killed all the horses last week, didn’t we?” Bernie Roche asked.

Roche and others spoke at length about concerns about Costco’s development during last week’s FMPC meeting, which corrected the miscalculated buffer zone and left agreements between Costco and Powell Acres up to the residents to settle.

“All indications from Costco are that they intend to do what they said they would do,” Town administrator David Smoak told the Board.

No representatives from Costco were present.

Costco previously agreed to build a keystone retaining wall, install a 200-year flood underwater detention basin, extra landscaping and rehabilitate a wet-weather conveyance.

The agreements were extracted from Costco under the assumption a buffer zone separating Costco from Powell Acres was 100 feet wide. In order to keep Costco from having to redraw its plans, Powell Acres agreed to a 50-foot buffer in return for its four requests.

But Smoak said the buffer has always been zoned as 50-feet, and an error when zoning maps were digitized in 2003 led to the confusion.

Alderman Ron Honken moved to accept the correction to the map, a motion Alderman Bob Markli seconded. It was unanimously approved.

“It seems pretty black and white to me,” Markli said.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Smoak if there were likely to be other technical errors to the zoning map that could pop up with future rezonings and site plans.

Smoak said there could be, and that Town staff would be very careful to refer to legal documents, as well as the map, in the future.

“We’ll be taking it on a case-by-case basis,” Smoak said.


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