Limit noise, traffic hike within CCS field plans: FMPC goal

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission action was tabled regarding First Baptist Concord’s proposed site plan to expand Concord Christian School’s athletic facilities at the church, 11704 Kingston Pike following citizens’ comments at FMPC’s meeting Thursday, Dec.15.

“We’ve had to deal with noise since the expansion of the church,” a Shiloh resident said. “We clearly hear the PA system.”

“We request there be no amplified sound,” Pam Stevens, another resident, said.

“Amplified sound is more than loud speakers,” resident Mary Ellen Brannon said. “Send them back to the drawing board.”

They were among seven residents living in Shiloh, Belleaire and other nearby neighborhoods who voiced their objections, citing noise as the biggest issue.

Chris Triko, engineer with MBI Companies, said FBC plans to build a new 2,200-square-foot fieldhouse for CCS and make such athletic field improvements as “formalizing” a baseball/softball field, improving the rectangular (football/soccer) field, adding another scoreboard and removing a turnaround associated with the school, as well as remove some temporary structures.

“I’ve been working on the site portion of this project since last year or longer, when the lighting component was still part of the project,” he said, adding since that time, the lighting component has been removed.

Additionally, after discussions with its neighbors, the church decided to not have external speakers or public address systems.

“(The sounds) would be limited to the sounds from the scoreboards,” Triko added. “And, with the limited grading, we’re trying to be good neighbors.”

“First Baptist Concord is using that property already for ballfields,” Town Community Development director Mark Shipley said. “This is on the south end of their property. It backs up to Belleaire (subdivision) here and Farragut Crossing to the west.

“They didn’t want any loudspeakers, no ballfield lighting – of course we dealt with that quite a bit,” he added. “The only lighting (FBC is) proposing is the fieldhouse itself.”

He showed there would be sconce-style lights on the fieldhouse.

Another concern was that stray balls would hit a motorist or pedestrian on Belleaire Drive and requested fencing around the perimeter.

“And, also formalizing this (field) would make this more inviting for the church to rent out to other entities at some point and get more activity … which could also create more traffic,” Shipley said.

“Personally, I have no complaints with the actual development they want to do,” said Alderman David White, speaking as a citizen.

However, he had a special request concerning the eastern entrance into the church.

“During your deliberations and discussions, you talk about the most eastern entrance into the church property. That intersection is as dangerous as it can be,” he said. “The addition of the field will put a lot more traffic in and out of that.

“It’s dangerous for parents dropping off and picking up their children,” White added. “There’s a lot of history to this entrance … I think that entrance should be part of the development because (if not) someone is going to get hurt.”

Still, “we have an applicant who is in compliance,” Commissioner Noah Myers pointed out.

However, the residents brought up a previous agreement between the church and the neighborhood and said the Town was part of that agreement.

“I think we need a legal interpretation of this,” FMPC chair Rita Holladay said.

“I’m not comfortable until we talk with our attorney,” said Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, also a FMPC member. She suggested the Planning Commission hold action on the matter “until it’s fleshed out” and moved to table the plan.