Virtue subdivision concept plan OK’d

Homestead Land Holdings, LLC, got the green light on its concept plan to build a 142-lot subdivision on the 87.34-acre former Harvey property located across from Willow Creek Golf Club off Virtue Road, as long as it meets the Town’s conditions on that approval.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission voted to approve the concept plan during its meeting Thursday, March 15, providing the developer, Robert “Bob” Mohney, principal agent with Homestead Land Holdings, LLC., address four “subject to’s” in its upcoming site plan.

The property, previously Agriculture and Floodplain districts was rezoned Rural Residential and Open Space Overlay to accommodate a subdivision development on the condition the developer enter into a cost-share agreement with the Town to improve Virtue Road.

During a Town staff-developer meeting Feb. 28, Mohney said that agreement would be signed upon the closing of the property.

Shipley said March 15 the concept is the first such plan submitted under the Town’s new requirements in its subdivision regulations.

“For the most part, the applicant and design team did a good job [with the concept plan for the] development,” said Mark Shipley, Farragut Community Development director. “They provided the plan sheets that we require now with a set of plans to give us a more thorough review.

“They tried to design this so the streets are more on contour, so when you look at the street profiles, you don’t see a lot of variation between existing and proposed grade, which is good.

“They also have a really nice streetscape plan for the central portion of this development,” Shipley said then pointed to position on the plan. “This area right here is almost like a mini Cherokee Boulevard, I guess.”

He noted the development team is using part of an existing driveway, which is lined with large maple and dogwood trees, as a base for a 10-foot-wide open trail.

However, Shipley said there still are points of discussion.

For example, Town regulations require a crossing of Little Turkey Creek, located on the property, and that crossing must follow the Town’s requirements, along with those put forth by Federal Emergency Management Agency’s related requirements.

Another issue revolved around a 20-foot-wide emergency access, which the developer is proposing to be constructed from the development to West Kingsgate Road. Shipley contended the emergency access should be a public road.

“The subdivision regulations require more than one public street vehicular access into and out of the development,” he said.

Shipley said having only one road in and out of the subdivision would create a situation similar to Grigsby Chapel, where there are few accesses onto the arterial street.

But Mohney argued future residents do not want the road to become a cut-through for Kingsgate residents and a “a raceway.”

And Russ Rackley, president of Rackley Engineering, which is working with Mohney on the project, added, “Most homeowners like dead-end roads.”

Still, Shipley said, “We try to give people more options laterally through [subdivisions].”

Alderman Louise Povlin suggested a compromise to approve it as an emergency access now with the stipulation that it would be a public street in the future.

Mohney agreed, but with the condition that its becoming a public street be based on a “justified traffic study.”

Shipley also questioned the length of a planned cul-de-sac on the southernmost street section of the proposed subdivision. He recommended shortening the cul-de-sac’s length to lessen the impact of the OSR.

Shipley also pointed out a walking trail planned on the east side of Little Turkey Creek. He recommended an alternate location along the eastern side of Little Turkey Creek.

But Mohney said locating a walking trail on that side of the creek would mean the trail would be situated behind people’s houses. He opted to build it on the west side.

Shipley said, “We would not support a trail on the western side because you would have to build a second bridge. It’s not part of the cost share agreement,” he added.

Mohney noted he already is paying $4,000 per lot to improve Virtue Road, then added, “I will build the [second] bridge.”