Town ‘Villages’ closer to reality

Farragut is one step closer to gaining a new senior living community east of Farragut Church of Christ.

Alderman Louise Povlin made the motion to rezone the property, allowing it to support senior communities, and Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche seconded during Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting Thursday, July 28. The vote was unanimous to approve.

“It’s been a great process,” Gary Keckley, CEO of Goodworks LLC, applicant for the zoning change and developer for the new community, said.

The community would be called Villages at Farragut.

Keckley said its residents would be “the parents of everyone in Farragut. ... This is for our families. Unless someone has figured out an alternative path, all of us have parents.”

Doug Horne, owner of Republic Newspapers Inc., parent company of farragutpress, owns the land to be rezoned near farragutpress office, 11863 Kingston Pike.

The ordinance included rezoning of 23 acres from Medium Residential zoning, R-2, to a Civic/Institutional zoning, S-1, which would allow for senior facilities such as Villages at Farragut.

While opposition from Farra-gut residents greeted earlier efforts to develop the property, Alderman Bob Markli said he was surprised by the lack of opposition to this proposal.

“I guess they’re just grateful it’s not apartments,” he said.

The development, as currently planned, would include an extension of Peterson Road uphill toward the proposed site. The road would be adjacent to farragutpress office.

Because of the road extension, the ordinance passed on first reading by BOMA also included rezoning for smaller lots along that road.

“Unless you kind of tweak the zoning on those areas, it’s going to end up with some areas that would be unbuildable,” Mark Shipley, Community Develop-ment director, said regarding properties along the proposed Peterson Road extension.

He said staff first raised the issue in a meeting with the applicant May 3.

The ordinance states, as approved on first reading, motorists driving from Kingston Pike northwest toward Villages at Farragut would first pass through a 4.76-acre General Commercial zoning district, which at present is zoned for offices, then pass through a 3.44-acre parcel of land zoned O-1 for offices. Currently, that land has three parcels zoned General Commercial, General Single Family Residential, Buffer and General Single Family Residential.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission previously voted unanimously to amend the future land use map for the proposed Villages at Farragut area from Medium Density Residential to Civic/Institutional in June.