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FMPC ‘workshops’ through medi-spa issue

A medi-spa owner in Farragut is one step closer to having her type of business be allowed by Farragut’s ordinances.

“This is probably a hybrid that didn’t exist when our ordinances were written,” Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioner Noah Myers said at the group’s meeting, Thursday, Sept. 15.

Commissioners heard the plight of Stacey Handel, owner of Garde Bien Spa Salon, who bought an office condo in Renaissance | Farragut, only to find out medi-spas are not allowed in office districts, mostly because medi-spas are not distinctly defined in Town ordinances.

Medi-spas are a hybrid of day spas and medical clinics. The medical aspects of Handel’s business would be allowed in the office district, but the spa aspects would not.

“The real issue is dealing with the hair and nails. That is the distinction,” Community Development director Ruth Hawk said.

Myers and his brother, Knick, own Renaissance | Farragut, and Myers mostly stepped back from the conversation, except to point out Handel had bought the office condo from another tenant, not from the Myers brothers.

However, it was Noah Myers who came up with the probable solution for allowing medi-spas in office districts, after more than an hour of discussion.

He recommended limiting the total square footage of a medi-spa that chose to locate in an office district to 1,500 square feet.

That answered Planning Commission-ers’ greatest concern — that a medi-spa would generate too much traffic to qualify to locate in an office zone.

“That’s a great idea,” Alderman Ron Honken told Myers. “The foundational problem was the traffic and this solves that.”

Medi-spas would be allowed in commercial districts without square footage requirements, but in office districts would have to remain small, since office districts are meant to be “buffer zones” between high-impact commercial areas and residential areas.

“And if they want to grow, they can move to a commercial space,” Myers said.

No vote was taken at the meeting; the item was for discussion only.

Hawk said she’d return at next month’s meeting with a draft ordinance that would define medi-spas and would limit their maximum square footage in office zones to 1,500 square feet.


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