Public input sought for CLUP review Aug. 19

Farragut’s Municipal Planning Commission will host a public workshop starting at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 19, to discuss possible Comprehensive Land Use Plan text amendments regarding medium- and high-density residential land use.

Community Development director Mark Shipley led an initial discussion on possible changes with Planning Commissioners and Town officials Tuesday, Aug. 3, during the regularly-scheduled Staff/Developer meeting.

“We can have a more in-depth discussion on this topic before the Planning Commission meeting starts” at 7 p.m., he said.

As Farragut approaches less than 20 percent of land build-out availability, “Both the Planning Commission and (the Board of Mayor and Aldermen) need to look at what areas (of Town) are left, and have a vision for those areas,” Town administrator David Smoak said.

In the original 2012 CLUP, medium density was defined at six to 12 units per acre, but no high-density designation was defined at that time. In 2018, text amendment changes designated medium density as six to eight units per acre, and defined high density as nine to 12 units per acre.

During the work session, Shipley noted fully-defining both medium- and high-density residential parameters via CLUP text amendments has yet to occur.

“We had had some discussion of high-density and medium-density designations during our last public meeting before COVID,” he added, referring to the March 2020 FMPC meeting, during which one of the agenda items included “discussion and public hearing on a request to amend the text of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update 2012 as it relates to High-Density Residential Medium-Density Residential, Low-Density Residential, and Very Low-Density Residential land use descriptions.”

However, as COVID fears were ramping up, that item was among several removed from the agenda.

Shipley showed several slides of examples of both kinds of developments to give context to what Commissioners could consider as they work on better fleshing out the designations.

“High Density Residential has nine to 12 units per acre, with footprints up to 15,000 square feet and up to four stories,” Shipley said, noting, as an example, the Overlook along Campbell Station Road “is right at 12 units per acre” while Lanesborough (off Fretz Road) “has just over nine units per acre. They also abut or have direct access to major arterials, and are not adjacent to residential developments.”

Redefined Medium Density residential, which was originally six to 12 units per acre, is now capped at eight units per acre.

“The Future Land Use Map includes a number of areas where this might be options to consider,” Shipley said. “We’re missing a middle-housing component and, for example, currently don’t allow horizontal attached (units).”

“But we should,” Town Mayor Ron Williams said.

“I am just presenting options to the FMPC and Aldermen,” Shipley replied.

“... We need to make sure developers know about the workshop so they can have input, too,” Williams said.

“We really need to have all the key players — not just the public.”

“We want to be able to look at all the (Future) Land Use options of what it could be, versus what it is now.”