News

While elder coach Courtney fights 2nd cancer battle, son fills FHS gap

Geoff Courtney had his hands full Friday night, Sept. 18. Not only did this offensive coordinator for Farragut High School football have to serve as interim head coach; not only did he have to fill in for a highly respected ailing man and coach ...

He was filling in for his father, as head coach Eddie Courtney, in his 25th season as Admirals skipper, was at home recovering from successful prostate cancer surgery Wednesday, Sept. 16.

It was an emotional time for the younger Courtney, the coaching staff and the players, but everybody knew the Admirals had to take care of business.

It was unfamiliar territory, as Eddie was missing only his second game during his tenure as either an assistant or head coach at FHS since 1981.

“Personally, coach Courtney is like a father figure to me and I feel like the whole team feels the same way,” said senior receiver Matt White, who caught three touchdown passes as FHS routed Morristown West 45-14 in a Region 1-6A game at Bill Clabo Field. “We prayed and prayed and prayed that he would have successful surgery, and it came out successful. We’re so happy.

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Anti-Ivey connector, Anti-Center apts. voices

E-mails, 28, against Town Center apartments read at FMPC meeting

Twenty-eight Farragut residents opposed to apartments being part of the Biddle Farms/Town Center project submitted e-mails for Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s Citizens Forum segment of its Sept. 17 meeting.

“NO-NO-NO!” Joe and Brenda King of Crown Point Drive stated in their e-mail. “I’m in favor of developing the old Kroger property as an up-scale business community. But to add 291 apartments to the already overcrowded Concord Road area opposite Concord Hills is insane.”

During the meeting itself, the Board voted unanimously to recommend several changes to its updated ordinance, which Farragut Vice Mayor/Commissioner Louise Povlin made to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and related ordinance for the Town Center.

She suggested changing the name of the zone from Mixed-Use Town Center to “unique Town Center District.” She also recommended:

• “To provide for a built environment that prioritizes pedestrian activity but accommodates vehicular activity;

• Under uses, “residential density in the Town Center should transition internally;”

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Four Pecos Road residents heard seeking to kill Ivey Farm connector

Four Pecos Road residents voiced their objections to the connection between Pecos Road and the Ivey Farms development in e-mails for Farragut Municipal Planning Commission’s Citizens’ Forum portion of its Sept. 17 meeting.

“It was my understanding that no traffic would be diverted through Saddle Ridge (subdivision) while Union Road is under construction, as we all know that Pecos Road is not equipped to handle additional traffic from a safety standpoint (no sidewalks and longer straightaway),” Joyce Sayers stated. “I would ask that both the Town of Farragut and Goodall Homes be good neighbors and respect the residents of Saddle Ridge by keeping the connection closed until such time when the Union Road construction is completed.”

While Chariti Skinner thanked the Town for correcting the flooding issues on Pecos Road from the Ivey Farms construction, Sayers also opposed the connection, stating, “My main concern is safety.

“Due to the fact that our neighborhood was built in the late ’80s and early ’90s, we do not have sidewalks or traffic-calming measures of any kind,” she added. “The impact of having a straight connection through Pecos Road to Saddle Ridge drive, along with the heavy pedestrian traffic, will undoubtedly create unnecessary safety and health risks to the residents of Saddle Ridge.”

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Only ‘single digit’ Town sales tax hit: Smoak

Though Town of Farragut experienced sales tax losses versus “previous fiscal years” — due to the effects of COVID-19 and based on “four or five months of sales tax revenues under our belts” — Town administrator David Smoak emphasized, “We are certainly better than we projected in our budget” post-COVID-19.

“From a fiscal standpoint, instead of double-digit losses in sales tax revenue, we’re seeing more single-digit losses,” he added while reporting Town financial news to Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance, during its Zoom meeting Thursday morning, Sept. 17. “That’s been at least somewhat encouraging.”

As for the number of visitors in Farragut staying in one of the Town’s eight hotels, “We have seen the number of hotel stays getting better since April,” Smoak said.

• Smoak said construction on Admiral’s Corner, at the corner of Kingston Pike and Campbell Station Road, “is coming along,” estimating an opening date “sometime in late fall.

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Allowing Town HOAs to use food trucks recommended by FMPC; goes to BOMA

Does not include individual households being able to secure food trucks

Farragut subdivision homeowners associations soon may be able to “legally” hold events featuring food trucks.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission voted unanimously during its virtual meeting Thursday, Sept. 17, to recommend the Board of Mayor and Aldermen amend its ordinance so HOA would be allowed to have food trucks.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners and Town staff discussed the possibility during a Staff-Developer meeting in August, and it was workshopped by FMPC in August as well.

“The initial objective of including this item on the agenda was to present the idea of allowing sales from food trucks if (it is) part of an approved special event sponsored or hosted by a homeowners association,” Farragut Community Development director Mark Shipley said. “The existing language only provides for sales from food trucks for commercial, office and not-for-profit entites if part of an approved special event.
However, “during the COVID pandemic, more people are staying home and the thought was that food trucks should be permitted as an option for HOAs, provided a permit and filing fee was secured,” Shipley said. “Food trucks can provide a useful service for certain events.”

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If a Town Center, it’s horizontal, walkable; if not, it’s ‘big-box’ time: Povlin

A “horizontal approach,” or one-story approach, to building a mixed-use Farragut Town Center at the current old Kroger location is “what they all suggested, what they said would be a great concept” when it comes to developer feedback Town administrator David Smoak said he’s received “as I have gone around the country talking to developers about doing that here.

“Having the uses close together, but not just on top of each other,” he added during his Town business update to Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance at its monthly Zoom (electronic) meeting Thursday morning, Sept. 17.

A more “vertical” or multi-story approach, however, resulted “in a lot of ‘no’s’” from those same developers, emphasizing “there’s been a lot of, ‘that really doesn’t work in suburban communities; it’s difficult to finance, it’s difficult to find (someone) to do it right, to do it well,’” Smoak said.

He added such developers have said they’ve found “easier places to that you can go” to make such vertical town center plans work.

However, he maintained the Town would “ultimately love to see … a vertical component” in overall Town growth, which “we still have on the books in our Land Use Plan.”

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Vendors at capacity, 49, for first Farragut Fall Festival Oct. 4

Ending up “at capacity” in terms of business vendors, with 49, inaugural Farragut Fall Festival is scheduled to run from 3 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 4, in the Old Kroger Parking lot across from Lendon Welch Way, which leads to and from Farragut High School at Kingston Pike.

As for entertainment, “We have four local bands playing on a stage that will be set up,” said Stephen Krempasky, Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance executive director, during a monthly SF/FBA meeting Thursday, Sept. 17. “We’ll use as much of the old Kroger parking lot as possible, spreading everyone out.”

As for anticipated turnout, Krempasky said he told potential alcohol vendors, “I expected 100 to 200 people per hour.”

Though a tent is to be included, “We’ll have half as many tables and chairs under the tent than we normally would do,” he said, comparing the Fall Festival to recent years Taste of Farragut, which was the original Oct. 4 event scheduled.

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KCSO police reports

• At 5:39 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 19, a Knox County Sheriff’s Office unit was dispatched to a Moser Lane residence to investigate a report of a person being injured by a cat that required stitches. Complaint had been checked by an urgent care facility due to one victim requiring 19 stitches. Officer made contact with victim No. 1, a male, and victim No. 2, his wife. Officer asked both victims what happened, and victim 1 advised they had been feeding a stray outside cat for about a year, and decided to bring the cat inside to take it to a vet. I asked how they got the cat inside the residence, and victim 1 advised with a live trap.

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clarify/amplify

• We reference a Business section story from our Sept. 17 issue, “Saah family ‘buys the farm’ to open The Julianna venue,” to clarify that Charlie and Suzanne Saah bought 32 acres, which includes the stables, of the former Hunter Valley Farm and re-named their property The Julianna, while Nancy Barger still owns 7 acres of the former Hunter Valley Farms and operates her business, The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm.

• In our Sept. 17 issue, a Community section story “Becoming His Bride,” left out the following: for more information or to purchase “Becoming His Bride” directly, visit Karen Wiley’s website, www.karenlundewiley.com.