The Comprehensive Land Use Plan is like a budget for Farragut’s 16 square miles of land. Although not required by Tennessee law, the CLUP is used by the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and Board of Mayor and Aldermen as guidance in approving development projects and land-zoning changes.
In 2016, I used the CLUP to educate myself and my Fox Run and Saddle Ridge neighbors on negative impacts of a proposed commercial project to be located across the street from Fox Run. Because my neighbors and I voiced our project opposition based on facts and CLUP concepts at FMPC and BOMA meetings, the project was modified to compliment surrounding neighborhoods and land zoning was changed to meet CLUP concepts.
The CLUP was last updated in 2012 and currently allows apartment land usage (i.e. high residential population density) on 100 percent of the land designated as Mixed Use Town Center (“Town Center”). I understand this usage could be a surprise to residents who are not familiar with the CLUP. However, resident unfamiliarity does not negate the fact that for at least eight years apartments have been transparently and publicly documented in the CLUP as a possible element of a “walkable” Town Center.
During the Oct. 8 BOMA meeting, my colleagues and I unanimously agreed to restrict the current CLUP apartment land usage within the Town Center to: 1) 25 percent of Town Center land (instead of 100 percent of Town Center land as it is currently); and 2) Town Center development only.
Contrary to the snappy, misleading headline on the front page of last week’s farragutpress, “1st read 5-0; Ordinance allowing apartments in Town Center gets nod (from BOMA),” the “nod” for Town Center apartments was given in 2007 by the approval of the Town Center District zoning ordinance, (which also allows for Town Center apartments). On Oct. 8, the current BOMA restricted the apartment “nod” given by a previous BOMA in order to protect established neighborhoods (that abut the Town Center) from directly bordering an apartment complex while at the same time meeting development need for residents to reside a walkable distance from Town Center attractions and businesses.
In addition to the snappy headline, last week’s edition included a letter from Mr. Michael Wilson in which he equated the CLUP apartment restriction with Town zoning ordinances (please stop comingling these very different documents — it’s confusing enough the way it is).
Mr. Wilson also requested BOMA to address the public mistrust caused by our lack of seeking (i.e. initiating) public input on the CLUP apartment restriction. Here’s my own address: restricting apartments from 100 percent of Town Center land to 25 percent of Town Center land is not a “major change” to the CLUP because the apartment restriction does not change land use, goals or intent of the CLUP. Therefore, because the apartment restriction is not a major CLUP change, BOMA is not obligated to seek/initiate public input on the restriction (believe me, Concord Hills residents have provided ample input on their own initiative).
Further, I seriously doubt residents from neighborhoods that directly touch the Town Center will take issue with BOMA protecting their neighborhoods from directly adjoining an apartment complex. If my conclusion is incorrect, I can live with residents’ disappointment.
Scott J. Meyer, Farragut Alderman, North Ward