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‘Commercial standards’ workshopped

Whether or not Farragut’s commercial buildings be required to live up to an aesthetic standard was the question Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen began contemplating during a workshop Thursday evening, Oct. 13.

“Building veneer definitely helps with how your building looks. Aesthetics matter,” community development director Ruth Hawk said.

“But there’s no doubt aesthetics is in the eye of the beholder,” she added.

Commercial design standards — both in design and in construction materials — are part of the Town’s five-year strategic plan goals.

The Board mostly listened during a presentation by Hawk that showed examples of various construction materials used in commercial buildings in Town.

Predominant among those is brick.

“We’re really blessed to live in a community where people have done a good job,” Alderman Ron Honken said.

Hawk went through examples of a number of other construction materials, including stucco, wood, split face block, smooth face block, glazed masonry, stone or faux stone, metal, cement board siding and vinyl.

Town Administrator David Smoak explained the Town currently had no ordinances requiring the use of certain construction materials, but asked if the Board preferred one material over another, or if the Board wanted Farragut to have a certain “look.”

“Right now, we don’t have minimum standards. We’ve been very fortunate,” he said.

Standards simply would mean that new builders would have to at least match what already exists in the Town, he added.

Honken said the only things he completely disliked were buildings constructed entirely of metal and buildings with wooden shingles.

“They look good for about 90 days, and then they look awful,” he said.

The Board didn’t vote on any of its discussion; the item was a workshop item only.

In other business, the Board:

• Appointed Caroline Sinclair to a two-year term on Farragut Folklife Museum Committee

• Approved a lease agreement with Knox County Clerk for 1,200 square feet of space on the second floor of Town Hall, which will go into effect in November. The new lease agreement includes rent increases each year — from $900 a month the first year to $1,050 per month by the fourth year

• Approved a settlement agreement with Pinnacle Management regarding a developer’s request for a text amendment to allow a certain type of development, which the Town denied. The Town will pay $9,500 to settle the case, which Town Attorney Tom Hale said would be more expensive to try in court.

• Approved a resolution supporting a recreation trails program grant. The grant would allow the Town to build approximately 6/10 of a mile of greenway and a trailhead along the east side of Virtue Road, near one of the bloodiest points in the Battle of Campbell Station. If the Town received the grant, it would be responsible for $19,245 of the project cost, and the grant would be $51,000. A decision could come in spring 2012.


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