Site plans revisited by Hy-Vee; Ford site still No.1

While a number of residents living around the Eddy Ford property along Kingston Pike were prepared for Hy-Vee’s request to Farragut Municipal Planning Commission at FMPC’s meeting Thursday, Nov. 17, Hy-Vee representatives asked for a postponement.

Those representatives withdrew their requests to amend the Town’s Future Land Use Map and zoning ordinance for that property, which fronts Kingston Pike to the south about one-quarter mile west of the Pike intersection with Campbell Station Road.

In a statement e-mailed to farragutpress from Dawn E. Buzynski, APR, Hy-Vee director for strategic Communications: “with the feedback we received from the community, Hy-Vee voluntarily withdrew our application to allow us to go back to the drawing board for the location near Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road. Our plan is to come forward with a revised proposal for a Hy-Vee store since we see Farragut as a vibrant community that we would like to call home.”

“I would recommend they withdraw the application or we vote on it as presented,” Commissioner Ed St. Clair said at the meeting.

“That’s what we are here to do,” said Mayor Ron Williams, who sits on FMPC.

After Hy-Vee representatives withdrew their proposals, residents applauded.

Hy-Vee initally has been asking to replace the current Mixed Use Town Center portion on the Land Use Map to Commercial for a 156,000-square-foot grocery store development, and also Parks and Recreation and Low Density Residential. The current Medium Density Residential part in the back of the property would be replaced with Very Low Density Residential.

In a previous FMPC meeting, John Brehm, Hy-Vee Site Planning director, said behind the store there could be a pocket park, which they could dedicate to the Town; then a 46-unit small-lot, single-family townhomes complex, backed by a 52-unit general single-family residential development. The residential sections would be sold to another developer to be developed.

Community Development director Mark Shipley said Hy-Vee’s requested amendments would abandon the Town’s vision for a Mixed Use Town Center.

“I agree with the staff’s position,” said Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, an FMPC member. “All of our actions have been an effort to establish a sense of place.”

“We have been working through this request for quite some time,” Hy-vee attorney Ben Mullins said. “With the feedback we received, we are looking to try to partner with a local developer to work on the concepts for other parts of this property, not just the Hy-Vee that we’re looking to put on the property, but how we can make the other concepts, especially the residential, work.

“We are really close to working something out with a local developer to try to come up with maybe a way to change the concept that would reconfigure the way we want to put this store on (the property) and how that would work with the park and open space, and how that would integrate with the residential,” he added.

“You’re changing the gameplan on the fly,” St. Clair said. “We need to take time (to look over the changes).”