Key Biddle Center CLUP amendments now 1 reading away

On first reading, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously in favor of three ordinances Thursday, Jan. 14, which propel the Farragut Town Center at Biddle Farms project one step closer to reality.

The ordinances — all of which impact the 43.63-acre parcel fronting Kingston Pike along Brooklawn Street — include: amending the future land use map on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan update from Medium

Density to Town Center; amending the Farragut Zoning map from General Commercial (C-1) and General Single Family Residential (R-2) to Planned Commercial Development; and amending the Farragut Zoning Ordinance regarding the Farragut Town Center at Biddle Farms project, clarifying that residential may be permitted as both horizontal and vertical in PCD; clarifying on street parking is exempt from standard setbacks; and amended the height for accessory buildings from 15 to 25 feet.

All three ordinances previously were recommended for approval by Farragut Municipal Planning Commission and will require a second vote by BOMA during its Thursday, Jan. 28, meeting before becoming final.

Developer and Farragut High School graduate Budd Cullom of CHM LLC has been working with the Town since late 2019 on the project.

He thanked the Town officials and staff for working with him, and, in turn, Alderman Ron Pinchok — who has gone on record requesting any further development by Cullom on the property be condos or townhomes instead of apartments — thanked Cullom for “listening to our suggestions.”

Town recorder Allison Myers read into the record 43 e-mails, with 42 opposed to the project and one in favor.

For several months, social media posters have alleged “illegal actions,” “lack of adequate public input,” and “malfeasance,” leading to at least 200 e-mails being sent to both BOMA and FMPC, most of which opposed the project — especially its multi-family component.

Last week’s e-mails were more of the same, with residents voicing concerns about increased traffic and school overcrowding.

However, Cullom had a traffic impact study conducted, which was then independently checked and confirmed by a second engineering firm, while Vice Mayor Louise Povlin repeatedly has cited Knoxville/Knox County Planning data — both indicating apartments create very little student yield.