Neighbors unite over ‘embarrassing’ Stonecrest sign

Stonecrest residents who are working to improve their subdivision sign while meeting Town code standards are, from left, Antoinette Cardoza-McDowell, her husband, Bill McDowell, Keith Burnett, Charles Reeves and Linda Doughty.
The need for a new neighborhood sign in Stonecrest subdivision has united about a dozen residents determined to ensure it makes a good “first impression.”

The entrance sign, located at the corner of Newport Road and Kingston Pike, is badly in need of repair. Its stone base and two-sided wooden placard is severely weathered and practically falling down. Its east side is so overgrown with brush it is barely visible.

“It is really embarrassing,” said Linda Doughty, who has lived in Stonecrest since 1981. “This is good neighborhood — it needs to have a good sign.”

The loose-knit group initially came together through word of mouth at the behest of Antionette Cardoza-McDowell, a neighborhood newcomer who quickly started a sign-improvement campaign.

“Community and neighborhood is very important to me,” said the transplanted New Yorker, who moved to Farragut with her husband, Bill, last October.

As Cardoza-McDowell spread the word, the group began meeting and brainstorming their plans. First, they needed to find out who owned the property on which the sign was located and get permission for the repairs and upgrades. They also had to work with Town of Farragut officials on the sign’s design and specifications.

Stonecrest is one of Farragut’s older neighborhoods, and while its original sign had been “grandfathered in” when the area was annexed, new regulations would have to be met.

Former engineer Charles Reeves, who was one of the first Stonecrest residents in 1969, drew up detailed plans that laid out the existing portions to be retained, as well as projections for the upgrades.

The residents are hoping to at least salvage the “Stonecrest” wood-burned inscription, then build around it while keeping the stone intact, adding concrete where needed and a new stone cover for the sign’s lower portion.

Permission has been granted by the property owner, Cardoza-McDowell said, and added they are just waiting for final approval from Town officials before being able to begin the work, which the residents expect to do themselves.

They also plan to clear out brush and overgrowth and do some landscaping around the sign to complete the upgrades.

Cardoza-McDowell has promoted the project further by establishing a “Go Fund Me” account for Project Stonecrest.

The group also is planning for upkeep after the sign is completed.

“We will have to make sure we keep maintaining it from now on,” said Keith Burnett, who has lived in Stonecrest for about 20 years, adding he vaguely remembers some repairs on the sign completed about 10 years ago.

“We would want to make sure it didn’t get into this same shape again,” Reeves said.