Workshops on Farragut development, parks

Wendy SmithFarragut, The Farragut Insider

You’ve heard that the two certainties in life are death and taxes. Here’s another one that needs to be added to the list: undeveloped property will eventually be developed. There are exceptions to this rule, like rural acreage and lands protected by a conservation easement. But if it’s located within a town or city, almost all open greenspace will be developed, no matter how much we enjoy the view.

The reason is simple: developed property makes more money than undeveloped property. And property owners in this country have the right to develop their property.

At the same time, governments generally have some say over how property is developed. Some governments take a hands-off approach where property owners are free to build with few guidelines. This can lead to problems like roads that can’t accommodate traffic, development that doesn’t fit in with its surroundings or unattractive structures that don’t enhance the community.

That is not the case in Farragut. One of the reasons our town continues to be attractive is that we encourage certain types of development in certain parts of town. For example, property designated Mixed Use Town Center on the land use plan will develop to look like a downtown – buildings close to the road with interior parking and higher-density housing. Areas that are primarily residential are generally zoned to stay that way, with buffers required between types of development.

Town staff is always thinking ahead about which areas are likely to be developed soon with the goal of encouraging the type of development the community wants.

“Getting an idea of the community’s vision for undeveloped areas guides the staff in creating amendments to the future land use map or zoning ordinances to provide for things that aren’t currently provided for,” says Community Development Director Mark Shipley.

A public workshop concerning the Watt Road corridor yielded requests for certain kinds of commercial development that could serve nearby neighborhoods. A similar workshop on the McFee Road area revealed that neighbors preferred no commercial development there.

Now town staff is considering the Boring Road area, where there are several underdeveloped large tracts. The community is asked to share its vision for how these properties should develop during a drop-in workshop from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, in the Town Hall community room. At the workshop, participants will be encouraged to comment and record visual preferences for transitional areas and building scale and placement.

The workshop will specifically consider four subareas: the area between Smith and Virtue Roads on Kingston Pike, the area behind Ingles, the tract generally between Baldwin Park and Waverly Court on Boring Road, and the rural area off Boring Lane. Development of these properties would most likely require rezoning, and the feedback received at the workshop would help the Municipal Planning Commission and Board of Mayor and Aldermen as they consider proposed changes, Shipley says.

A previous Farragut Insider shared another upcoming workshop that will allow the public to influence a different kind of development. The Farragut Parks and Athletics Council invites the community to drop in to vote on their favorite proposed Farragut Parks & Recreation projects at the Farragut Community Center (239 Jamestowne Blvd.) between 10-11 a.m. and 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, and Wednesday, Dec. 8. The feedback received will be incorporated into a new Parks & Rec Master Plan that will determine budgeting for future parks projects.

Town of Farragut marketing and public relations coordinator Wendy Smith is your reliable Farragut insider.

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