Herron property rezoning passes first reading

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approv-ed on first reading to rezone Parcel 117 at the intersection of North Campbell Station and Herron roads from Very Low Density Residential to Civic/


The change would allow Autumn Care II to apply to build an assisted living facility there.

Ken Chipley, a Sweetbriar resident, spoke in support of the project.

“I’ve listened to this for over a year now and I think this is a great use,” he said.

Alderman Louise Povlin also called the assisted living facility “a really good use” and said that it was convenient due to its nearby amenities such as a library and church. However, she raised concerns about the possibility of multiple story buildings on the property and wanted to include language to prevent their construction in the ordinance before it came to BOMA for a second reading.

She made a motion to approve the ordinance “with the condition of a main level and a lower level only.”

“We’ll do a little homework between now and next meeting and we’ll make sure we get the definition very clear on what the intent is. We’ll get with our code guys and the Town attorney to make sure that we get it. So that way, the intent of what you’re asking us to do is clear,” David Smoak, Town administrator, said.

“That corridor is a special corridor as far as coming into the town of Farragut, and a two story building there might be very overwhelming, whereas a one story keeps that residential feel that that corridor has,” Povlin said following the meeting.

“I’m fine with a one story except for the property does slope down to the creek. My architect is telling me that it may be appropriate to build a retaining wall that would actually create a basement-type under that lower corner instead of excavating so much to fill that in,” Peter Falk, owner of Autumn Care Assisted Living, said during the BOMA meeting. However he said that the top floor would be one level.

“It may or may not be considered two story when we get into the actual design but it’s close to being by definition a basement,” said Steve Young, architect at Odel and Young Architects, in reference to questions about how the current plans might fit into building codes’ language. The bottom floor would be for washing machines and storage but not for residents. “We are right on the edge of how you define basement by code.

“My only concern is the way you define basement by code is by the percentage of building above grade and below grade, and we’re right on the edge by my estimations. We may or may not actually accurately meet the definition of basement.”

“The basement doesn’t bother me,” Povlin said. She said that the current design was fine. “It’s just if this doesn’t happen, how do we insure that we don’t have something that is two stories?”

Elmer Parlier, Herron family member and Kentucky resident, said that he had personally knocked on the doors of 36 homeowners in Sweetbriar subdivision and gotten 22 signatures on his petition.

“We had no negatives at all. We had a couple of ‘eh, whatevers’ — literally two of those,” he said in reference to the proposed property changes.