letters to the editor

Variance to allow Pecos Road gate sought

For the last several years myself, my husband and various residents of Saddle Ridge have been in discussion with the Town of Farragut Municipal Planning Commission (FMPC) regarding the connection of Pecos Road to the new Ivey Farm subdivision.

The main concern that we have is the safety of our residents, especially children, of which there are at least 15 children on Pecos Road alone, with two bus stops in very close proximity. Currently, Pecos Road and the lower portion of Saddle Ridge Drive do not have sidewalks.

Due to that, residents already find the need to be extra cautious when walking, jogging or bike riding on these roads. By adding additional traffic from the Ivey Farm subdivision onto Pecos Road, then Saddle Ridge Drive, which leads to the clubhouse, would add an extra level of danger.

We have been told by the FMPC that Pecos Road was always designed to be connected. When it was constructed, the end of Pecos Road was deemed a “temporary” turnaround, then the Town of Farragut changed it to “permanent” turnaround.

When we proposed the idea of putting an International Fire Code-approved emergency access gate or barrier between the two subdivisions that would be available for emergency vehicles only, while allowing for pedestrian and bicycle access, the FMPC’s answer was that they do not want to set precedence by installing a gate or barrier. Why would they not want to set precedence when it makes sense and is agreeable to the residents effected?

I recently e-mailed Mayor (Ron) Williams regarding his statements from last week’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP farragutpress) article in which at the end he states:

“As always, the public will be invited to give feedback and I invite you all to take part in this public process. ...Your Town leaders want what the majority of residents want … .” If this statement is true, is should be applied to all aspects of Town affairs.

The Saddle Ridge Homeowners Association, which represents over 225 households, wrote a letter to the Town expressing concerns about the Pecos Road connection with no change in the outcome. This clearly represents the majority of affected residents.

I then re-addressed the issue of safety in my e-mail and this statement was made by Mayor Williams: “for safety reasons, as I have stated before, that no one’s children should play in any street regardless of location. Your subdivision has a pool/rec area, and if that is not a large enough play area then we have provided four large parks for that purpose.”

The residents of Saddle Ridge have never advocated children playing in the street. Mayor Williams also went on to say, and again I quote, “You must think if you continue to bring it up we will change our mind, but that is not the case.”

I’m sorry Mr. Mayor, but that does not convey the message of working together or inviting the public to be a part of the process.

There are more issues at hand with the Ivey Farm development; however, safety is at the top of our list. The FMPC has the capability to issue a variance to allow the gate on Pecos Road, but continues to push back. The Town of Farragut issues variances, on a regular basis, on a wide range of issues.

They should do the right thing and allow the gate or barrier. We will continue to pursue what is in the best interest of our community and residents of Saddle Ridge.

Joyce Sayers

Pecos Road, Farragut