TAPA Awards 2008

Planner of the Year Award

Ruth Hawk, Community Development Director of the Town of Farragut
Ruth became employed by the Town of Farragut in 1994 and during her 14 year tenure, she’s dealt with many challenges associated with a small new town including a population growth of 13,000 to 21,000 people.

Farragut’s Planning Commission Chairman, Bob Hill, nominated Ruth for this award for her outstanding service and guidance to the community. She has been instrumental in modifying the Planning Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations to accommodate the Town’s intensive commercial and residential developments. Bob praises Ruth for her “competence, experience, philosophy, and dedication to good planning”.

Some of Ruth’s milestone accomplishments in Farragut include:

  • The development of an open space residential overlay district that promotes conservation design.
  • The development of a Town Center District with the specific intent of creating a pedestrian oriented mixed use downtown.
  • And finally, providing for the inclusion of pedestrian ways in the major thoroughfare system.

Congratulations again to Ruth Hawk, our Planner of the Year!

Lifetime Achievement Award

Bob Martin, Former City of Franklin Planning Director
Bob has served the city since he was hired as the first planner in 1978 up until 2006, in which he retired from the director’s position. During that time, Bob led the way in bringing the community forward to become the progressive, high quality, flourishing city that it is today. He oversaw the city grow from 12,00 to 55,000 residents, during which he provided guidance for the formation and establishment of critical planning documents - one of which was the adoption of the Franklin Design Standards.

Yes, Bob’s expertise has been a solid force in the background as Franklin has refined itself over the years as an economic generator. In addition to that, it’s easy to say that his efforts have laid the framework for Franklin’s future with his work on the 2004 Land Use Plan and the new zoning ordinance that was drafted to implement it.

Bob deserves the Lifetime Achievement Award not simply because he was there for the amazing evolution of Franklin, but because of his leadership role in it. Congratulations again to Bob!

Lifetime Achievement Award – Honorable Mention

Stanley Harrison, Community Development Program Director for ECD Special Projects
Stanley has 33 years of Local Planning Assistance experience. His early planning career began in West Tennessee where he was Chief Planner/Community Principal Planner. He then moved to Chattanooga in 1986 to serve as the Community Planning Regional Director. In 1998, he returned to this area and until 2007 he was the Regional Director of the Johnson City Local Planning Assistance Office.

Today, Stanley is the Community Development Program Director for ECD Special Projects. He manages the NFIP Community Assistance Program and the FEMA Flood Map Modernization Program for all of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Because that doesn’t take up too much of his time, Stanley is also working on the integration of the Flood Plain Management best practices and programs with ECD initiatives, which includes planning, community development, main street, energy policies, small business development, and job recruitment.

Congratulations again to Stan Harrison for all of his planning accomplishments!

Outstanding Planning Award for a Plan (Population under 100,000)

Town of Smyrna Comprehensive Plan
The Committee selected this plan because it seeks to address both a high rate of growth and anticipated trends. It includes elements that are important to the local community thus exhibiting a good use of thought and analysis during the plan’s preparation. The plan includes the following components:

  • Future Land Use Plan
  • Major Thoroughfare Plan
  • Parks and Recreation Plan
  • Gateways Plan
  • And, Implementation Strategies

The Town of Smyrna’s Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for day-to-day decision making by the Town Mayor, Council, Planning Commission, planning staff, property and business owners, developers and builders, community and civic groups, and citizens. In addition to that, it is anticipated that the Town of Smyrna will benefit from the utilization of this plan in the future. Congratulations to all who participated in the creation of the Town of Smyrna’s Comprehensive Plan!

Outstanding Planning Award for a Plan (Population over 100,000)

Williamson County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan
The Committee feels this plan is excellent. Much like Smyrna’s Comprehensive Plan, it shows or demonstrates transferability, quality, comprehensiveness, and effectiveness. It directs attention to what the citizens of the county value and desire to preserve for future generations. The Williamson County Comprehensive Land Use Plan could be used as a model for other counties. Williamson County is a fast growing county with six municipalities, and each municipality has its own planning jurisdiction and UGB. The Plan calls for cooperation between the county and the cities when planning inside the UGB’s. It’s also exciting to note that the Plan is currently being used to guide the drafting of the county’s new Zoning Ordinance. Congratulations to all who were involved in the creation of Williamson County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan!


Outstanding Planning Award for a Project/Program/Tool

Franklin, Tennessee – 2008 Zoning Ordinance
The Committee agreed this document is a great example of a cohesive document that includes the use of diagrams and pictures. The plan definitely shows a great deal of innovation by integrating some of the best thinking regarding form-based coding, traditional zoning regulations and performance-based concepts. Examples of this include establishing nine district Character Areas, using four unique sets of building and site design standards, and having alternative methods of compliance. This new Ordinance has already been effective in re-working the development review process in Franklin, which has resulted in a higher quality of development. Congratulations to all who participated in the creation of the Franklin, Tennessee – 2008 Zoning Ordinance!


Outstanding Planning Award for Implementation

Downtown Knoxville Design Guidelines
These Guidelines are a great asset for the City of Knoxville. The document includes a great set of visual aids to aid with interpretation and explanation. Kudos was also noted for the public involvement process. The extensive workshop and meeting process set a positive tone for adoption and quelled fears. The Guidelines include innovative solutions are suggested for sidewalk settings, “avoiding the blank wall syndrome”, sign control, and other aspects too. Now that they have been in effect for over a year, the quality of these guidelines is respected by local officials, developers and residents. Congratulations to all involved in the creation of the Downtown Knoxville Design Guidelines!


Outstanding Planning Award for a Green Development

Groves Park Commons
This project, located on 110 acres in Oak Ridge, is a reflection of a macro-green planning approach that focuses on an overall mixed-use development and the land plan’s conservation approach. The project represents significant steps towards sustainable growth by approaching details such as the use of recycled materials, inverted rooflines, bioswales, and open space. The overall plan includes but is not limited to: 300 homes, a village center with retail and office uses, a community center, and a 69-acre park.

The Committee recognizes Groves Park Commons for being a true conservation development that also utilizes new urbanism design principles. The development shows that conservation development can work, the numbers can work, and a development such as this can be approved. Congratulations to Groves Park Commons!


Outstanding Planning Award for a Green Development

Madison Street
This project identifies and recognizes specific details of constructing a group of green residential buildings, the materials used, and LEED certification. It’s located in Chattanooga’s Jefferson Heights community and attributes to a fine example of the marriage of modern and traditional.

The Madison Street homes all contain three bedrooms and two-and-half baths on two floors. The interior features include items like locally manufactured concrete countertops, energy star appliances, tankless water heaters, and other great features. A fascinating aspect of this project is that almost no waste was produced during the construction period. Instead, it was recycled or reused on site. Congratulations to the Madison Street Development!

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