Ballfield light restriction request: favorable feedback

Residents making up Farragut Neighborhood Preservation Partnership received favorable feedback on their request to restrict ballfield lights in the Town.

During Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s meeting July 21, Jeanne Brykalski, who represented FNPP, asked Commissioners to consider amending its lighting ordinance to restrict ballfield lighting only to Mayor Bob Leonard and McFee parks.

Farragut Community Development director Mark Shipley was asked to come back with a proposed ordinance amendment for FMPC’s next meeting.

“What we are trying to accomplish is to protect all Farragut neighborhoods,” Brykalski said.

Five other residents attended to support Brykalski, while no one spoke against the request. She said FNPP is made up of residents from Glen Abbey, Derby Chase, Shiloh Condominiums, Belleaire and Farragut Crossing neighborhoods.

Brykalski pointed out the request is intended to protect Farragut residents from incompatible development, intrusive lighting, from being commercialized and from noise while protecting property values and quality of life.

Shipley said the amendment would clarify the ordinance.

“The Town’s outdoor site lighting provisions are included in Chapter 4 of the zoning ordinance and were recently updated to organize the provisions and address newer technologies and lighting applications,” he said. “The outdoor site lighting provisions are intended to govern private property where the Town would otherwise have no controls in place to address the intent of the outdoor site lighting provisions.

“The Town has had outdoor field lighting at Mayor Bob Leonard Park since 1989 and lighting at McFee Park since it opened in 2009,” Shipley added. “The request from FNPP would acknowledge and clarify this condition and prohibit where such lighting could be installed in other locations.”

However, Commissioner Scott Russ said he thought FNPP’s request was too restrictive, as it would limit the lighting to only two of the Town’s parks.

“By restricting this, say in five years, we put turf in Anchor Park, hypothetically … my biggest concern, with technology with the lights …” Russ said.

“I thought there was an agreement with Anchor Park that was not going to happen?” Brykalski asked.

“To me, I think noise is the biggest nuisance, but there’s some very good points (in the request). I know where you’re coming from,” Russ said.

While Brykalski conceded noise from ballgames in the daytime can be annoying at times, she added, “at least you’re not disrupting somebody’s dinner time, their time with their kids, kids doing homework.”

Shipley said the request, which originally stated “public properties,” was narrowed down to exclude Knox County Schools’ properties. While the schools are in the Town, he said the Town has no control, as they are exempt from Town requirements.