Schaad reassures residents about new Dollar General look, site impact

Dollar General store is proposing a move from the old Ingles shopping center, on the north side of Kingston Pike, to a new location west of Fox Den subdivision’s Kingston Pike entrance.

Developer Michael Schaad, an owner at JMB Investment Co., LLC in Knoxville, and his senior project manager, Tim Dunaway, were at a Town staff-led Planner Developer meeting Thursday, April 13. Seated around the edges of the room were five Farragut residents, some taking notes, as staff and developers discussed several topics: how delivery trucks would enter the parking lot to unload and whether they had enough space to turn around; whether the sinkhole on the other side of Kingston Pike would impact the site; how to collect rainwater runoff and prevent flooding on Kingston Pike — and the appearance of the building.  

Schaad has promised to make the Dollar General look as “residential” as possible and is changing the color scheme from yellow panels to green and adding more brick.

“We’re trying to make this look as residential as possible,” said Mark Shipley, Community Devel-opment director. “That’s why we’re asking for lots of landscaping. The big, nice trees on the eastern side provide a good buffer for Fox Den.”

“Kingston Pike already has standing water in this area,” said Bryan Nunley, a Fox Den resident.

“There’s a pretty large area that’s draining directly onto Kingston Pike,” said Darryl Smith, Town engineer. “I’m not a big fan of curb openings for draining. Is there some way to pick up more of the parking lot and direct it into your system? … Would a trench drain be an option?”

“If it takes a trench drain we will,” Dunaway said.

As the developers and officials wrapped up their discussion, Schaad apologized for not giving residents a heads-up about the project earlier, but said until now he hadn’t had anything to show them.

He then asked for their feedback. A few said they were pleased with the effort to make the building more residential.

As that part of the meeting ended, Ashley Miller, assistant Community Development director, told the residents the matter would go to the Thursday, April 20, Farragut Municipal Planning Commission meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in Town Hall boardroom.

“I’m concerned how this will fit into the neighborhood,” Nunley said after the meeting.

Sylvia Pratt, a retired IT consultant and a Fox Den resident, said her homeowner’s association board had asked for a couple of members to drop in on the meeting. She and Betsy Clements attended and sent a report to the board.

“First of all, I thought the meeting was very good,” Pratt said. “It was the first time I’d been to one of those meetings. I was very glad when Mark [Shipley] said we could come up there and look at things [the drawings]. I’ve e-mailed with him since voicing some concerns. They’re very happy for people to come to the meeting.

“My main conclusion is that the lot is too small to accommodate what Dollar General is trying to do,” she added. “They were having trouble demonstrating to Mark and the staff that there was room for the semis to turn around and maneuver. They were talking about very small adjustments of two feet to make it work.”

Pratt expressed her biggest concern. “Our home lot is 1.6 acres. This thing they’re doing is smaller than our lot, 1.3 acres, with a huge building and parking lot,” she said.

Pratt said she contacted Shipley “and asked if that is an option for Dollar General to help with runoff. That’s a concern of mine,” Pratt said.