Friends of Peavine
Protection today and for the future

 
Frequently Asked Questions

March 2013

1. Q. What is a Tennessee Scenic Parkway?
A. A Scenic Parkway is a designated route that is intended to enhance the general welfare of the citizens of Tennessee and other states by providing a road that promotes the enjoyment of our abundant natural, scenic, and recreational resources. The Tennessee Parkway System also places some restricts on outdoor advertising.

2. Q. What does it take for Peavine Road to become a Parkway?
A. A request must be submitted to the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who has the authority to approve or deny the request. The letter requesting the route to be designated as part of the Tennessee Parkway system must detail:
i. The route information;
ii. A map showing the route location;
iii. Pictures showing the route’s historical, scenic, and/or natural qualities is recommended;
B. The request needs to be accompanied with:
i. Strong community support; and
ii. A description of how the Parkway would contribute to the system.
C. The requested designation must connect with an established Tennessee Parkway route (Peavine does) and must be a state route (Peavine is).

3. Q. How will designating Peavine Road a Parkway make a difference?
A. Currently there is no limitation on outdoor advertising on Peavine Road. Anyone can, on private property outside the state’s right-of-way, erect an unlimited number of signs of whatever size, height, spacing, or design desired. This can be done without regard to the rights, safety, or property values of their neighbors or the community at large. Designating Peavine Road a scenic parkway will ensure unobstructed visibility, enhance open space, reduce distracted driving hazards, prevent the accumulation of trash, and protect the property values of the community. Doing so will thereby enhance everyone's safety, quality of life, and protect the area’s natural, scenic, and recreational qualities and resources.
B. A Parkway designation means the state Department of Transportation’s Beautification Office has authority over what outdoor advertising is permitted and that office oversees compliance on all roads designated under the Parkway System.

4. Q. Haven't we tried this before and it failed?
A. The committee is aware of a failed attempt to convince the Cumberland County Commissioners to enact a local zoning or sign ordinance solution.
B. This effort is completely different. It does not rely upon enactments by the County; it goes directly to the State TDOT. The State has a Scenic Parkway System, it provides for additions to the system, and Peavine Road qualifies to be part of the system. The committee has no information that any similar request has ever been made.

5. Q. Won't the politicians and county commissioners be against it?
A. No. The committee believes that community leaders and elected officials will support the effort because it does not require enacting zoning ordinances or other sensitive rulemaking. Including Peavine Road in the Scenic Parkway System will have a positive effect on tourism, economic development, and property values.

6. Q. Won't businesses fight it?
A. No. The committee believes that businesses on Peavine will be in favor of the designation for the same reasons mentioned above.

7. Q. I don't mind the signs. How else would we know about area businesses?
A. Businesses on a Parkway are permitted to have signs. Other businesses have many other options (most are much more effective than road signs) to inform customers of their products and services, including but not limited to: newspapers, direct mail, radio, television, and social media.

8. Q. Won't this hurt the economic development of Crossville and Cumberland County?
A. No, quite the opposite. A Scenic Parkway designation is known to enhance an area's natural, scenic and recreational qualities, which in turn promotes tourism and economic development, as well as increases property values.

9. Q. How soon could it happen?
A. We hope to have the request to the Commissioner by the summer of 2013. We have no information on how long the Commissioner may take to approve the request.

10. Q. Why should I support it? What's in it for me?
A. If you agree that preserving and enhancing the beauty of Peavine Road, reducing distracted driving, increasing property values, and promoting tourism and economic development benefits you and the community, then we believe you should support this effort.

11. Q. Won't the widening of Peavine Road take care of all the signs?
A. It depends. Advertising in the state right-of-way is not permitted, even though people do it anyway. Those signs may be removed during construction, but the county or state will not stop them from being re-erected after construction is complete. Advertising that is erected on private property outside the right-of-way is permitted, and those signs in the path of construction would be re-erected.

12. Q. Who needs to support this effort?
A. A request for Scenic Parkway designation must have strong community support. First, we need a citizen petition urging our community leaders to support the designation. Next, in response to that petition, we need the support of community leaders, for example: business owners, our club board, our commissioners, or our state representative, which would be included with the request.

13. Q. Shouldn't the FFG Board of Directors be doing this?
A. Not necessarily. Anyone can organize an effort to request the designation.

14. Q. Isn't this the same thing as zoning ordinances?
A. No. Cumberland County is not a zoned county. A Scenic Parkway falls under the authority of the Tennessee Department of Transportation Beautification Office’s rules covering outdoor advertising.

15. Q. What happens if the TDOT Commissioner denies a request?
A. Because the Commissioner has the authority to approve or deny the request, it is possible the Commissioner could say no. That’s why the committee believes we must gather as many signatures as possible in order to encourage our community leaders to be wholly-supportive of the effort. Should the Commissioner deny the request, the committee would decide how best to proceed at that time.

16. Q. Why a petition and not just a letter to the Commissioner?
A. The committee considers a petition as the best manifestation of the will of the community and the best way to encourage our community leaders to support the designation. Their support must accompany the request.

17. Q. How can volunteers or other area clubs and organizations help?
A. We need as much help as possible with gathering signatures on the petition and spreading the word.

18. Q. Won't this take a lot of money? Who pays for all this?
A. No. The committee’s only expenses so far are paper, ink, and personal time. We do not at this time expect much expense in the future, but if that changes we would consider fundraising.

19. Q. How can I help?
A. Support the effort, talk to community leaders and businesses, volunteer to gather signatures, and sign the petition.

20. Q. Where can I learn more?
A. Check out our website at www.friendsofpeavine.org or contact us at friendsofpeavine@gmail.com.