More details, within Biddle Town Center site plan, told

Several final details of the Farragut Town Center at Biddle Farms site plan were discussed Tuesday, March 30, during the regular Town Staff Developer meeting.

The Town Center portion of the 37-acre project will come before Farragut Municipal Planning Commission for a public hearing and site plan consideration at its April 15 regular meeting. If approved, it would be the final hurdle for the Town Center part of the multi-million dollar project, which also encompasses a planned 286-unit multi-family development on the back portion of the property.

Project developer Budd Cullom of CHM LLC was on the virtual meeting call, as was the project’s architect Don Kendall, along with several FMPC commissioners and meeting facilitator, Town Community Development director Mark Shipley

Shipley briefly summarized the plans, which include an Aldi grocery store, 11 free-standing retail/commercial/restaurant buildings and a common space labeled “Village Green,” the grassy area that would separate Town Center from multi-family housing and would be taken over by the Town once completed.

“Speaking in general terms, things are still moving forward, and we are … more excited than ever, “ Cullom said.

“We are getting some really good interest on the commercial side, from the exact type of tenants we envisioned, and I think ones the Town has envisioned too,” he added.

“Our next goal, will be to submit the multi-family site plan next month. That will be the final piece … potentially start the first phase of demolition, the first of July, if possible.”

Kendall asked follow up-questions of staff regarding construction heights and building and fire codes.

Regarding building elevations, Shipley said, “My main point, on building elevations, you have some consistency throughout whole project, and meet the 75 percent brick requirement, and meet the architectural requirements.”

Town Fire Marshall Dan Johnson said, “each building needs the square footage and associated construction type” listed.

They also discussed the access around the Village Green area. Johnson said codes required there be 20 feet around it, and Kendall stated the plans listed 14 feet (around) along with a 2-foot gutter.

“We’ve encountered numerous jurisdictions, and seen it treated many different ways; in Nashville it allowed us 16-foot paved area, then 2-foot overhang easement,” Kendall said.

“The fire code is pretty clear on the width, but there are alternatives to meeting that — perhaps grass pavers — I would not be opposed to that,” said Johnson, who later in the meeting noted Nashville had amended the codes, allowing for the deviation.

“If the Board decided to change regulation, at their discretion, I’m open to alternatives,” Johnson added.

Kendall also noted a similar consideration might be needed along Brooklawn where medians will be installed.

“We need to have a conversation between designers and some of the staff, we will need to look at that a little bit closer,” said Shipley, who noted the process “shouldn’t be rushed.”

“We can provide a product for the Village Green, then if need to provide something different for Brooklawn, that would be okay,” Kendall said.

Finally, Kendall asked about the fire load projections that were requested of each building.

“We need the calculated fire flow for each building for the site approval,” said Johnson. “We need to verify adequate line sizes and volume.”

Ultimately, Kendall was directed to the appendix of the International Fire Code, where a formula was listed to help meet that criteria.