board view Vice Mayor

Land Use Plan taken quite seriously by Board

In recent months, there has been a lot of concern expressed about growth and development in the Town of Farragut. There are many things to consider when a project is proposed within the Town.

The Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen are bound by the constraints of legal and constitutional principles when making decisions, and the constitutions of both the United States and the State of Tennessee protect the rights of property owners.

The Town of Farragut is granted the powers of local planning (T.C.A. Title 13, Chapter 4, Parts 1-3) and land use regulation (T.C.A. Title 13, Chapter 7) by the state constitution and state laws, and these powers are reserved to the state by the Constitution of the United States. The Town can adopt zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, architectural design guidelines and a comprehensive land use plan and enforce building codes.

But the use of these powers to exert influence over the use of private property is constrained by the constitutional principles of due process and takings clauses.

In other words, our community can plan and regulate land use, but whether an individual owns two-tenths of an acre or 200 acres, our municipal government has to treat landowners fairly, equally and reasonably. Reasonable use of private property is defined, at the very least, by how a property is currently zoned or how it is envisioned to be used as shown in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

In early 2011, the Board advocated for an update to the Farragut Land Use Plan, which was developed in 2001. This plan was primarily a policy document and did not include a future land use map that could be used to guide land use decisions.

A framework to develop this plan was crafted with the assistance of a consulting firm. This framework relied heavily on public engagement and outreach to help identify the assets of Farragut, the challenges we face and how best to navigate our future so that we remain a relevant and desirable place to live and work.

Throughout the remainder of 2012, several different stakeholder/focus group meetings were held. Extensive public outreach was conducted with community dialogue and public meetings. From the input gathered during this multitude of meetings, a comprehensive land use plan was developed. The final plan was presented and adopted by the FMPC on Dec. 20, 2012. It can be viewed on the Town of Farragut website. I strongly urge anyone who is interested in understanding the goals of our community to review and study this document.

In many communities, a future land use plan, once crafted and approved, tends to find itself stored on a shelf, never to be viewed or consulted again. That is not the case in the Town of Farragut. The FMPC and the BMA rely heavily on this plan to make decisions.

We can’t control the pace of growth, and it happens one parcel at a time all across our Town as property owners exercise their private property rights. The plan helps keep us on track and true to the clear vision for our Town’s future … a future that honors our heritage, provides for a beautiful public realm with pedestrian-oriented activity hubs throughout our Town, excellent parks and recreational activities and well-maintained infrastructure.