Dozens angry: Grove-Boyd Station vote 3-0

Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen faced a concerned crowd of nearly 40 — which became interruptive at some points — at the Board’s Thursday, June 10, meeting, when it voted 3-0 to deny resident/developer Steve Williams’ appeal of Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s April 15 approval of a concept plan for the Grove at Boyd Station subdivision, which includes a right-of-way along Williams’ property.

”You are directly impacting the 10 or so residents of the Farm at Willow Creek,” said neighborhood resident Kathy Ciorciari of Ivy Lake Road.

“This will be a big disruption to our neighborhood,” added John McCarthy of Stone Villa Lane.

However, that neighborhood is across the street from Williams’ property and does not abut the proposed development.

“I’ve got a pretty good collection of our neighbors here, all very concerned about the potential — just the potential — of this road being built,” McCarthy said.

He added many of the residents with whom he talked moved in his neighborhood because it is low density and a nice area in which to live, but “now we’re seeing a more high-density thing being put in here.

“(The right-of-way) will directly affect our lives. All these cars (would be) coming down, pointing right at (Ciorciari’s house). …We don’t feel that this (right-of-way) is needed. We don’t feel it’s required, except by what the city says for connectivity. It does not need to be in this location.”

Several residents asked the Board to change the Town’s regulations about having “stub-outs.”

‘Your subdivision regulations are supposed to be followed when you’re approving subdivisions,” Town attorney Tom Hale said.

The concept plan included a street right-of-way and pedestrian facility within the right-of-way being stubbed into the common property shared with Williams’ property, Farragut Community Development director Mark Shipley said.

The residents voiced their concerns the right-of- way would turn into a road that would intersect with Evans Road, making Evans Road a cut-through to Kingston Pike.

“We back directly to Evans Road,” Ciorciari said. “The rate of traffic (already) is ridiculous … the (concept) plan had (the right-of-way) ending in my backyard. Seven hundred cars with noise, headlights; my daughter here will have no privacy in her bedroom … It’s going to make us and all our neighbors’ backyards unusable.”

If the stub-out were to become a road, Evans Road resident and civil engineer Larry Doss warned Grove residents would use that road as a cut-through. “It’s going to become a nightmare,” he said.

However, Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said Grove subdivision engineers suggested any future road be taken onto Virtue Road, not Evans Road.

“What you’re called on tonight, with respect to this matter, is to review the actions of the Planning Commission and the approval on April 15 of the concept plan for the proposed subdivision, known as the Grove at Boyd Station,” Hale said. He later instructed the Board that it was to decide if the FMPC followed Town ordinances in making its decision.

While Povlin, who sits on the FMPC, and Aldermen Scott Meyer and Ron Pinchok voted to deny the appeal, Alderman Drew Burnette, who said he didn’t think he had enough information at that time to make a decision, abstained from voting. Mayor Ron Williams was out of town.

Shipley said the subdivision planned for the southeast intersection of McFee and Boyd Station roads. When FMPC approved the concept plan in April, Shipley said the FMPC required “a public right-of-way — not a street being constructed — to the north.”

“There’s a couple of large tracts there that could, in the future, be developed,” he added. “It’s probably not realistic to think, in this part of Knox County, that a large piece of property couldn’t potentially be developed.”

Shipley said the right-of-way came about as the FMPC considered the Town’s long-range goals toward connectivity.

However, Steve Williams and his attorney, Taylor Forrester, objected to the stubbed out right-of-way, claiming, if Williams were to develop his property, the right-of-way would require him to put a road leading to Evans Road, which would then be a cut-through to Evans Road.

Evans Road residents also objected to the right-of-way.

Brett Smith of Stone Villa Lane said while he did not object to the Grove at Boyd Station development, he was concerned about future traffic safety on Evans Road.

He warned already there are “too many cars going 50 miles per hour” on Evans Road.

“I play chicken to take my kids to Faragut Intermediate and Farragut Middle School, making that left from Evans (Road) onto Virtue,” Ciorciari said. “I’ve almost gotten T-boned.

“Evans was never designed to be a cut-through.”

Povlin said if a road were built where the right-of-way is located, it actually would lead to Virtue Road, not Evans Road. Additionally, she said the Town’s fire marshal requires a secondary access point for emergency vehicles.

“They are not required to connect here (at the right-of -way),” she said. “You can have a subdivision with 30 homes and they could ask for a variance.

“Mr. Williams could decide to have estate-sized lots, and that connection would not have to be made,” Povlin added. “This is a Planning Commission trying to plan for, in the most logical sense, where to put a connection that does not create the situation that none of us want to see.”

“All (the right of way) is now trees and grass. That’s all it really has to be.”

Povlin said the future of the right-of-way rests on Williams’ future plans of whether or not he would develop his property.

“As far as I can tell, he is in the driver’s seat,” she said.

Williams disagreed and argued variances are hard to get.

Russ Rackley, engineer who designed the Grove at Boyd Station, said while he initially argued against the connection, he included it in the concept plan because it was required.

“I don’t see how it’s an issue for the Planning Commission to approve a plan meeting their requirements,” he said.

Additionally, moving the right-of-way now would cause his development to be delayed, Rackley added.

“I can’t bear the cost of this project being delayed by some confusion over whether or not the Planning Commission’s actions were legal,” he added.

“... You don’t have to connect to Evans,” Rackley said. ‘The most obvious place, when (Williams’) property develops, would be to put the intersection at Turkey Creek Road.”

On another matter, the Board voted unanimously to approve, on second reading, an amendment to Ordinance 21-08 that addresses screening requirements for below-grade waste and recycling bins. It also unanimously voted, on first reading, to amend Ordinance 21-09 to require a concept plan in association with an Open Space Mixed Residential rezoning request to establish a distribution of attached versus detached dwelling units.