Proposed Virtue residential development discussed

Knoxville developer Glen Glafenhein, who is looking to build a residential development off Virtue Road, asked town of Farragut staff for direction regarding the cost of expected road improvements while hearing about drainage problems from a couple of neighboring Sugarwood subdivision residents.

Glafenhein, principal broker developer and consultant with Honors Real Estate Services off Thunderhead Road, Knoxville, met with Mark Shipley, Community Development director, and Daryl Smith, Town engineer, about his development during a Farragut Staff/Developer meeting Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Glafenhein has 87.1 acres at 430 Virtue Road, which is about 1,500 to 2,000 feet from Kingston Pike and located across from Willow Creek Golf Course. He is looking at developing 170 lots on the 87.1 acres and said he wants to build unattached single-family traditional-style, mostly brick homes on those lots. The homes could be expected to sell from $399,000 to $499,000, he said.

Glafenhein met with town staff to ask for an amendment to the Town’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan from Medium Density Residential to Open Space Cluster Residential and to rezone the land from Agricultural and R-2 Residential to R-1/[Open Space Residential] Overlay.

The change to the CLUP and zoning districts would allow him to cluster the homes closer and have more open space around the developement.

His requests met with Town staff approval but are not on Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s next meeting agenda. Instead, Glafenhein said he is looking at submitting the proposal for February.

“I think it’s the best use,” Shipley said about Glafenhein’s requests. “They could give a better buffer between the Sugarwood and Kingsgate subdivisions [and Glafenhein’s property].

“I would support that [OSR] district,” Shipley added.

Still, Glafenhein said his timetable is stalled because potential costs of improving that portion of Virtue Road still are up in the air, given the town is considering imposing an impact fee on developers. He asked Shipley for feedback on what he could expect to pay to improve the road.

“We’ve been on hold, trying to quantify the road improvements,” he said. “We have a lot of expenditures, but it’s a fantastic property. I think [the development] will be well-received.”

Shipley said Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed a proposed road impact fee, and there was a study done on it, but the Board has taken no action.

“The Town does not have a policy on how it is going to do an impact fee,” Glafenhein said. “It’s hard to know what the cost will be. [Having such a policy] would help give [developers] a clear path.”

When the Board met Dec. 22, Alderman Bob Markli voiced opposition to the impact fee, saying it was hardship on developers and landowners.

Another roadblock, however, came from Sugarwood Subdi-vision residents Steve Hearon and Ron Williams, the latter an alderman on Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen, who said Sugarwood properties already have drainage and flooding problems.

“The water goes between each house and, during a heavy rain, onto the Harville property,” Williams said. “If you have no buffer, I think you would have an issue.

“When I first moved there, it wasn’t like that,” he added.

“We’re not against [the development] at all,” Hearon said, but added, “The last thing you would want to build is something the people [of Glafenhein’s development] are not happy with and Sugarwood residents are not happy with.

“It’s a challenge,” Hearon said, adding he was concerned the development would affect his subdivision’s already existing drainage problems. Hearon also suggested a walking trail along Glafenhein’s property, if the developement becomes a reality, to help with drainage.

Glafenhein met with Town officials and Sugarwood residents Monday morning, Jan. 9, to look over the drainage issues and discuss the road improvements. He said he did not believe either an economic impact study or a traffic impact study would be required.