letters to the editor

Challenging Town’s eminent domain claim for greenway

Why facts matter in local government: 

I am a resident of Farragut that lives on Sonja Drive.  The Town of Farragut wants to utilize eminent domain to seize property for a greenway along our street from Admiral (Drive) to Oran.  This project will destroy the character of our neighborhood. 

The reasons given by the Farragut BOMA are that we live in a Parent Responsibility Zone (PRZ), that our road is narrow and dangerous and that the neighborhood is asking for the project. 

The problem is that all of those reasons are not backed up by facts or research.  To verify if we were in a PRZ, we simply called the Knox County Schools transportation department and they verified that we were not in a PRZ and that there were two bus stops on Sonja between Admiral and Oran. 

We also verified our address through their web site at https://busapp.knoxschools.org.  It showed that we were “eligible” for transportation to all schools from primary through high school.  The PRZ ends at the intersection of Sonja Drive and Admiral Drive. 

We also measured the width of our side of Sonja Drive from Admiral Drive to the entrance to the Stone Crest neighborhood.  The average was 18 feet. 

We compared that to the width of Sonja Drive from Admiral Drive to Campbell Station (Road). The average was 16 feet.  The section of Sonja labeled as “narrow” and “dangerous” is actually wider than the side that the BOMA isn’t going to work on.  

We are also gathering a petition to request that the BOMA stop the project.  We are going door-to-door and have found that the claim that the neighborhood supports the project is false. 

We have talked to more than half of the residents and have only found one household (3 percent) that supported the project. 

The rest are against the project (97 percent).  The current BOMA is prepared to spend over $2 million on a project that is based on unsupported opinions. 

What other projects have been implemented or are in the works that are based on unsupported opinions? 

Farragut residents deserve better government than this.

William Hodge, Farragut