‘Planning around our strengths’ is key

We are living in interesting times, particularly in regard to the demand for homes in the Knox County area with people moving here from all over the country. With our excellent schools, amazing amenities and quality of life, Farragut is in high demand.

Not surprisingly, developers are seeking opportunities to build all forms of housing on undeveloped land in our Town, as well. In addition, the Town is seeing interest from commercial developers.

While we, as a Town, have little ability to control the pace of growth in our Town, we do have the ability to adopt a comprehensive land use plan so we can better shape the future we want. Farragut residents came together in 2012 to update the vision of how they wanted the Town to grow and develop, knowing that no place stays special and unique by accident.

Every community has its strengths and weaknesses; planning around our strengths is what keeps us unique and distinctive and helps us to remain a vibrant community with a robust economy. We’ve managed to maintain a small town feel even as our population has almost quadrupled since we were founded in 1980. We’ve managed to do that with careful planning and maintaining high standards.

One aspect of our community that the residents identified as a very valuable asset is our greenway trail/sidewalk system. The Town of Farragut has been investing in the construction and connection of trails and sidewalks throughout our Town for more than 30 years. Fortuitously, walkable suburban communities are becoming highly desirable due to changing demographics.

Many of us simply enjoy going out for a walk or run and appreciate having a trail or sidewalk that allows for us to get out of our neighborhoods. But striving to build a walkable community is not just about building a connected greenway/sidewalk system for exercise, it’s about having destinations and providing for an enjoyable and safe walk, as well. The residents’ vision for Farragut included identifying several activity hubs throughout Farragut and a pedestrian-oriented Town center to provide for walkable destinations that include restaurants, shops, parks, farmer’s markets and community gathering places.

In recognizing the importance of walkability, we’ve also recognized the need to provide for an improved design for pedestrians with wider grass strips and street trees where possible in future road projects. Also, we’ve begun to add in mid-block crosswalks with lighting where we’re seeing a lot of pedestrians crossing a heavily-traveled road.

Specifically, rapid-flashing beacons have been added to the Grigsby Chapel mid-block crosswalk, and we’re adding a mid-block crosswalk at Watt Road with rapid flashing beacons for residents to safely cross Watt Road to get to Mayor Bob Leonard Park. We continue to add greenway trail/sidewalk connections throughout Farragut and we’re identifying locations where mid-block crosswalks would be beneficial.

The residents who got together in 2012 to update the vision of our Town worked to develop a plan that continues to set Farragut apart as a unique and distinctive community in a manner that is authentic to Farragut.

If you would like to read the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, you can find it by clicking on “Town approved documents/current publications” on the left side of the homepage of the Town of Farragut website (