Development plans feature N. Watt Road- Harrison Lane

Farragut’s Municipal Planning Commission will consider a rezoning request during its regular Thursday, Jan. 20, meeting which, if approved, would be the first step in constructing a mixed-use development along North Watt Road.

The issue to rezone 9.22 acres at 421 N. Watt Road from General Commercial to Neighborhood Convenience Commercial was a discussion-only topic during both the Town Staff/Developer meeting Tuesday, Nov. 30, and the FMPC meeting Thursday, Dec. 16 — and is on the Thursday, Jan. 20 agenda for discussion and public hearing.

The property fronts “North Watt Road within the Town and extends westward into Loudon County, where it also has frontage along Harrison Lane,” according to a Town report.

Tentative plans shared with Town officials proposed 40 attached single-family town homes along with space for commercial/retail construction and a community use playground.

“It is consistent with the Future Land Use map,” Town Community Development director Mark Shipley said during the Nov. 30 meeting. “Conceptually, it shows a mix of residential and non-residential construction ... looks to be (similar] to what they are doing at the Swan Farm.”

Pointing specifically to the planned playground, Shipley commented, “one objective is to blend the residential and non-residential to have a common amenity they can both share.”

“It looks like something a lot of young families are looking for,” Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said during that same Nov. 30 meeting.

In discussing the project Dec. 16, FMPC vice chairman Ed St. Clair noted potential sight distance issues.

“Near the crest of that hill … looking ahead, (we) need to make sure we understand site distances and whatever improvements need to be made,” he said.

“We are somewhat concerned about the location where the drive comes out, and the cut-through traffic element,” assistant Community Development director Bart Hose said.

“The applicant turned in a concept plan, to have an idea of what they are proposing, but this is just a rezoning phase. The plan’s not really under consideration,” he added.

“Any development plan that goes on the site, would be fully evaluated, as would any other site development plan.”

Project applicant Robert Campbell of Robert Campbell and Associates told the gathering he was aware of a potential issue with sight distance, and is working on ensuring any issued be addressed.

Several Watt Road area residents attended the Dec. 16 FMPC meeting to find out more about the plan, including Mark Wagers, who spoke publically and said he personally didn’t have “any trouble” with the plans for the new development.