Farragut Municipal Planning Commission unanimously passed a site plan for an assisted care living facility near North Campbell Station Road.
Alderman Louise Povlin made the motion to approve the site plan for Autumn Care, LLC, with all of the conditions provided by Town staff. Noah Myers seconded.
FMPC discussed various issues before voting, including lighting, access route, utility easements, placement of a walking trail and a dog park.
“I’m very heartened by what I hear tonight,” Farragut resident Carol Christofferson said.
However, she asked about making the height of a cupola as low as possible.
“Anything you can do to keep the building pleasantly residential,” she said.
FMPC also voted separately to approve a 90-foot variance for the access route to the facility from Herron Road as suggested by a traffic impact study. Myers made the motion to approve the variance. Povlin seconded it.
“I don’t think there’s a perfect solution. When you’re trying to get out of there at 7:30 in the morning and you’ve got a couple of neighborhoods trying to take their kids to school at 7:30, I mean it’s going to be a little tough to get out of there,” Myers said, referring to the end of night shift traffic flow from the facility at 7:30.
However, Peter Falk of Autumn Care said night shift would probably have only four employees who would get off at 7 a.m. He said all traffic other than visitors would not be at peak hours.
“Pretty much our traffic is not peak traffic,” he said.
Mari Falk, vice president of Autumn Care, LLC, talked to FMPC about a proposed 20-by-60-foot dog park at the facility.
“We encourage residents who have had pets to continue to enjoy having pets,” Mari Falk said. She said the park’s bench would allow residents to sit down while their dogs play.
When asked about alerting the neighbors about the dog park, Peter Falk said he had not.
However, Mari Falk said the dogs mostly would be less than 10 pounds.
“Small dogs can make a lot of noise,” Ed St. Claire, FMPC member, said.
Mari Falk said the dogs would not be out during sleeping hours. She also said Autumn Care had only had as many as two dogs at a time at other locations, but the park might encourage more people, bringing the number to four or five dogs.
Mark Shipley, Town Commun-ity Development director, said he was not sure how the park would fit into the 50-foot transition area, which he said allowed for pocket parks, but with the intent of them being used by all surrounding property owners, not just one. He also said the area should be called a sitting area, given its use for other purposes besides dogs.
“We’re trying to provide for activities and space that actually encourages connections be-tween adjoining properties,” Shipley said.
He also said staff would need to work with Autumn Care on screening the park from the adjoining property.
“I like the idea of an enclosed space with an arch,” Rita Holladay, FMPC chair, said regarding the park’s design.
Falk said he expected to have 68 apartments at Autumn Care III with 93 percent occupancy, which he said was typical of the industry due to people going to other levels of care. Each apartment would support one person or two people in the case of married couples.
Betty Dick, FMPC member, said the building abutted two utility easements. Steve Young said he was planning on moving the building one foot to avoid that problem.
FMPC also discussed different lighting issues on the site. Mari Falk said she was considering putting in gaslights. Shipley suggested acorn- or bell-shaped lights in the parking area rather than the tall pole lights with shoebox design in the current plan.