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Board holds commercial design standards workshop

Farragut officials didn’t have much to say during a workshop intended to brief them on aesthetic regulations, but presumably will consider the presentation next month when they’re presented with an ordinance to enact minimal design standards.

“The devil is in the details,” Community Development director Ruth Hawk told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen — plus a few Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners — Thursday night, Jan. 26.

She presented the Board with slides illustrating downtown districts in other cities and towns, slides that were used when a previous administration approved zoning regulations and building requirements for a Town Center District, a planned downtown in Farragut.

Due largely to the recession, the downtown development was never built.

Hawk presented the slides to illustrate various architectural styles, open space designs and even light fixtures — all to encourage the Board to consider how it would like to mandate commercial buildings be constructed in Farragut.

“You have to have your focus on details at all levels,” Hawk said.

“You don’t develop as an island; you think of the whole picture,” she added.

Town administrator David Smoak told the Board he’d have an ordinance, perhaps in the next month or so, for the Board to consider and “rough up a little.”

Farragut currently doesn’t have minimal design standards for commercial buildings.

At previous workshops, Board members have indicated they prefer brick buildings and dislike buildings constructed entirely of metal.

Hawk encouraged the Board to consider not only materials used in construction, but also proportion, colors, building heights and widths, styles, rooflines, cornice designs and the looks of storefronts and facades.

She also emphasized pedestrian access, parking lot design and the use of street trees.

“The bulk of what we have in Farragut is not pedestrian oriented,” Hawk said.

Finally, Hawk said many successful design standards are oriented around a theme or a certain emphasis — for example, a historic structure.

“Aesthetics matter,” she said.

Because the discussion was during a workshop, no vote on any item was taken.

During its regular meeting, the Board:

• Approved a contract with Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon for the design of the McFee Park Expansion Master Plan for $28,500.

The new master plan will incorporate the more than 26 acres of property Farragut purchased adjacent to the existing McFee Park. The plan also includes a review of a planned amphitheater area at the park.

Parks and leisure services director Sue Stuhl told the Board she hoped to have public meetings on the proposed design in late March, with final approval of the designs occurring in May or June.

• Approved, on second reading, an amendment to Farragut Zoning Ordinance to clarify parking requirements established by the Board of Zoning Appeals


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