Trees big part of ‘Tommy’s’ Outlet Drive plans

The matter of trees again resurfaced while Farragut Municipal Planning Commission reviewed proposed façade updates and a vertical showroom addition to Tommy’s Slalom Shop, 11470 Outlet Drive, during its meeting Thursday, April 21.

“I think the applicant’s pretty clear that having tree cover … is very important to the Town,” Community Development director Mark Shipley said.

While no action was taken, Shipley said the architect wanted the Planning Commission’s feedback on the new site proposals before it moved on with the site plan modifications.

“I appreciate your time tonight to take a look at this plan and get some feedback before we go too far down the road,” said Richard Calise, architect with Studio Four Design Inc., which is designing the addition.

“Some of the area we looked at last month, with the rough grading, for Tommy’s Water Sports is also going to be part of that site plan,” Shipley added. “But this request involves adding a vertical showroom. It’s about 1,200 square feet total, and then some façade enhancements on the southwest corner of the building.”

Calise said the blue color of Tommy’s facility in Michigan wraps around the building, and asked FMPC to consider allowing Tommy’s to have a blue stripe in its design as well.

“Just a word of caution, it could be that blue stripe gets identified as a sign, and all of a sudden you’ve used up your signage allowance,” Commissioner Noah Myers warned. “We may need to dig a little deeper on how that blue strip fits into things.”

Still, Myers said he liked the tower design.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” he added. “It’s an iconic feature, and it’s pretty exciting … I do like the direction you’re going.”

With that said, however, Myers reiterated FMPC’s concerns about protecting the trees around the building.

“There’s also trees on the (Tennessee Department of Transportation) right-of-way,” he said. “Those are protected trees as well.

“Those trees, we take it real seriously,” Myers added. “What we don’t want to see is those trees, on a weekend, in the TDOT right-of-way suddenly start disappearing. Those trees in the right-of-way are not your trees.”

“We are looking,” FMPC Chair Rita Holladay said.

At the March 17 meeting, FMPC members initially expressed concerns about trees not being damaged during the grading process. The building, formerly owned by Moses Water Sports, was designed for 16,000 square feet.

“Since that time, that project was bought by Tommy’s Slalom Shop out of Michigan,” Shipley said. “They’ve been looking at making changes both to the site and the building.”

• On another matter, Commissioners approved a site plan, contingent upon the Board of Zoning Appeals action, on a proposed addition and parking lot for Russian Baptist Church Light of the World, 12430 Union Road.

Shipley said the BZA would need to approve the addition since it would involve a non-conforming building. The 25-by-48-foot addition would move the restrooms from the church’s basement to the main level, add a greeting entrance area and incorporate formalized parking.

“The building is currently about 6,000 square feet,” he said. “To the south, there’s a cemetery that’s owned by Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

“This building sits well over 200 feet from Union Road, so it’s pretty far back,” Shipley added.

“The church is really trying to make better use of the existing facility … it was built before 1900, so there’s nothing that really complies with our current setbacks or building fire codes.”

In other business, Planning Commissioners:

• Approved the rezoning of .82 acres at 13013 Kingston Pike from General Commercial District (C-1) to Rural Single Family Residential District (R-1).

• Approved the FY2023 Capital Investment Program proposed expenses.