Growth Policy Plan fails with Farragut vote

By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen met Friday evening and, after hearing from many residents against the Knox County Growth Policy Plan, voted 3-2 not to support the plan. With that turn, the Growth Policy Plan and the Comprehensive Land Use and Transportation Plan — passed by Knox County and the City of Knoxville governments — also failed.

All three government bodies were required by state law to approve the plan and, as in 2020, the Farragut elected officials voted “No.”

Mayor Ron Williams and Vice Mayor Louise Povlin supported the adoption of amendments to the plan. Aldermen Drew Burnette, Scott Meyer and David White voted “No.”

Both plans now go back to Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs for another effort. Jacobs released the following statement Friday expressing his disappointment in the vote:

“First, I want to thank Farragut Mayor Williams and Farragut Vice-Mayor Povlin for their support of this crucial and vitally important growth plan. I’d also like to thank the Advance Knox team, who worked long hours during the past two years in collaborative effort with many stakeholders, to develop a proposal that addresses some of the most pressing issues facing our county.

“I am greatly disappointed with the outcome of last night’s vote by the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

“Sometimes, when you are in a position of leadership, you must make tough, uncomfortable, decisions because it is the right thing to do.

“Farragut was at the table throughout the discussions of this critical plan, and we incorporated the changes that they requested. Ultimately, the growth plan would change nothing for Farragut.

“On the other hand, Knox County is in the midst of a major housing crisis, and also are trying to mitigate urban sprawl.

“Last night’s decision by only three Farragut aldermen hurts our entire county. Housing prices will continue to skyrocket – a negative for the almost 500,000 people who call Knox County home.

“Further, this decision will increase our homelessness problem.

“In the end, we are talking about higher taxes and a lower quality of life.

“This growth plan addresses all of these issues. And again, it would not change Farragut – something the Farragut leaders requested.

“At this point, we will look at all possible options, and how to move forward.

“Above all else, we cannot continue the path we have walked for the past two decades.

“I promise we will find a solution.”