Balancing act with nearby residents as CCS athletics seeks to grow

With a site plan by First Baptist Concord to build a new fieldhouse and make athletic field improvements, seven residents living around the church, 11704 Kingston Pike, expressed their concerns during a Farragut Municipal Planning Commission Staff/Developer meeting in Town Hall Thursday, Nov. 29.

“Some of the residents I talked to are concerned about the noise and making sure there are no loudspeakers,” Town Community Development director Mark Shipley said.

“I know, working with you all (FBC), you’re trying to be good neighbors.”

However, “That probably needs to be clearly addressed on (the site plan) because … you are kind of taking it to another level,” he added.

“We have legitimate concerns,” said Belleaire subdivision resident Jeanne Brykalski with Farragut Neighborhood Preservation Partnership.

The church is planning to build a 2,400-square-foot two-story fieldhouse (1,200 square feet per level), a two-story pressbox while adding a baseball/softball diamond with dugouts and a new scoreboard to its existing athletics field. No lighting or sound system was proposed.

“I don’t think you’re proposing any loudspeakers or anything like that,” Shipley said, but noted FBC’s site plan does call for wall-mounted lights on the fieldhouse.

Shipley explained the baseball/softball diamond would be located adjacent to the church’s rectangular soccer/football field.

“As far as demolition, this existing turnaround — this circular access — would be removed in this project,” he pointed out. “Some of the structures over here to the west would also be taken out.

“There’s an existing scoreboard that’s (at the far end of the soccer/football field),” Shipley added. “I think they’re proposing a second one (between the baseball diamond and the soccer/football field).

“They would also have to meet the same screening requirements as the other one. They’ve installed some trees behind the scoreboard and also along Belleaire Drive per the Visual Resource Review Board’s approval.”

Regarding staff’s “discussion items,” Shipley advised FBC to “check your lot coverage” regarding the field’s turf.

“On the plans, the (fields) are submitted as artificial,” said Blake Henry, executive director with FBC. “If you’re reading ESPN and some other sources in the last month or so, there’s some conflicting information about artificial fields, whether it’s good for the athletes on it, so we’re reviewing that.”

“Most of the area affected by this site plan is zoned Rural Residential Single-Family Acre Lot Size, and schools and churches are permitted uses in that zone, just as they are in R-3, where the rest of the church is located, but there are some additional requirements because those are residential uses in a residential zoning district,” Shipley said. “One (of those requirements) is the additional setback for structures in the front.”