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Homeowner granted conditional easement

Two Farragut homeowners were caught between a rock and a hard place Thursday night, Oct. 27, during Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

Or, more accurately, the homeowners were caught between town of Farragut right-of-way and the edge of Fort Loudoun Lake.

Terry Brown and his wife, Becky Maclin Brown, recently bought a property bisected by Turkey Creek Road, which includes lakefront land. On that lakefront parcel was a collapsing retaining wall constructed of railroad ties.

The Browns set to work replacing the wall with one of stone, with proper reinforcements.

“They want to rebuild it and make it a better wall than it was before,” Town attorney Tom Hale acknowledged during the Board meeting.

However, during the middle of the project, Farragut staff issued a stop work order on the construction because the wall is within the Town’s right-of-way.

“This is six inches in the right-of-way,” said the Browns’ attorney, Steve Irving.

Hale said that for the retaining wall construction to continue, the Browns would need a conditional easement from the Board, since current Town regulations require retaining walls to be built 10 feet outside the right-of-way.

“If you move this 10 feet 6 inches, it’ll be in the water,” Alderman Bob Markli said, looking at photographs of the retaining wall, which is situated on a narrow strip of land along the lakefront.

“They’re caught between the proverbial rock and hard place,” Hale said.

“They’re caught between the lake and a hard place,” Markli corrected.

The Board ultimately approved the conditional easement, with Alderman Ron Honken and Mayor Ralph McGill absent.

Hale said that was a “creative solution to [avoid] making someone remove a wall.”

The original retaining wall apparently was built by a previous homeowner with permission from a former Town engineer, Hale explained. This was done before Farragut had adopted some of its retaining wall regulations and the permitting process.

The Browns weren’t aware they needed a permit, Irving said.

Alderman Jeff Elliott asked Hale about the proper process for someone wanting to replace an existing retaining wall.

Hale said such a person should apply for a permit.

As part of the conditional easement granted by the Town, the Browns agreed to install a guardrail above the retaining wall at their own expense and submit a detail illustration of the improvements to Town engineer Darryl Smith.


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