Friends of Peavine
Protection today and for the future

 

Request

Click here to download a copy of this request


Friends of Peavine
348 Snead Drive
Crossville, TN 38558
931.456.4714

September 10, 2013

CERTIFIED MAIL

Mr. John Schroer, Commissioner
Tennessee Department of Transportation
James K. Polk Building, Suite 700
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-0349

Re: State Route 101 (Peavine Road) Designation as a Scenic Parkway

Dear Sir:

As part of Tennessee's ongoing efforts to protect its natural and scenic assets, we request that State Route 101 (Peavine Road), hereafter referred to as “Peavine”, Cumberland County, from its northern terminus southward to the existing Parkway designation of State Route 101 (Lantana Road), be designated as a Scenic Parkway under the Tennessee Parkway System. Our request will show that Peavine as described complies with the criteria required for designation as a Tennessee Scenic Parkway.

Specifically, this approximately 7.5 mile section of Peavine, connects with an established Tennessee Parkway route, is a state route, and meets all of the objectives of designating roadways under the Tennessee Parkway system, in that:

  1. It will be part of a network of routes that have logical termini;
  2. It will preserve and protect historical, scenic, and natural qualities;
  3. It will provide an alternative route to highly traveled roads; and
  4. It will furnish motorists with a safe and relaxing route by which to experience the beauty of Tennessee.

Detailed Route Information

State Route 101 begins in Bledsoe County where it connects with Parkway Route 30. It runs northward approximately 35 miles to its terminus in Fairfield Glade Resort at Snead Drive in Cumberland County. Our focus is from the mile marker 18 northward to mile marker 24.

The map below shows the location of Peavine and how it connects with the established Parkway Route 101 (Lantana Road). Point A is the route’s northern terminus in Fairfield Glade Resort. Point B is Crossville’s city limits at Confederate Drive (mile marker 18). Point C is the connection with State Route 101 (Lantana Road).

 


1. It will be part of a network of routes that have logical termini.

a. State Route 101’s northern terminus at Snead Drive is an obvious, non-controversial and logical end to the parkway.

b. The route ends in Fairfield Glade, which in fact is the primary draw for visitors and residents who travel this portion of Peavine.

c. This project can function on its own and is independent of any pending improvements.

d. A designation will result in immediate protections and improvements to the scenic and natural qualities of the route.

e. Implementing it as a parkway is a reasonable expense.

2. It will connect with another parkway.

The Friends have been advised that generally parkways connect at both ends with either another parkway or with an interstate. We do note that according to the online scenic parkway map, State Route 168 (Governor John Sevier Parkway), part of the initial parkway designation, and State Route 385, a more recent designation, are examples of only two parkways that connect on one end with a parkway and the other with a US Route.

Of course, State Route 101’s northern terminus is a two-lane county road that continues to the charming communities of Hebbertsburg and historic Crab Orchard. We understand the Commissioner has discretion to recognize unique local needs; therefore, we believe it is a reasonable determination to recognize the unique nature of Peavine and approve its designation as a parkway.

3. It will preserve and protect historical, scenic, and natural qualities.

We have enclosed photographs that demonstrate Peavine’s historic, scenic and natural qualities (Exhibit 1). Peavine and its tributary communities have played significant roles and influenced the history, culture and folklore of Cumberland County. Beyond Fairfield Glade is the Hebbertsburg community founded in the early 1800s. Much of the area's history stems from the economic impact of the Morgan and Fentress and the Tennessee Central Railroads – both used to transport timber and provide supplies for the Cumberland Lumber Company. The Tennessee Central line climbed Peavine Mountain to White's Saw Mill at Peavine Switch train turntable, located in the heart of what is now Fairfield Glade. This rich history inspires residents and visitors alike to explore the area and investigate its tales and folklore.

The 80,000-acre Catoosa Wildlife Management Area north of Peavine features rolling hills, oak savannas, and winding creeks of natural beauty. In this area is the geological oddity of the Devil's Breakfast Table; a massive rock precariously balanced on the pinnacle of another rock. Legends, mystery and wonder surrounding this unique rock structure have attracted visitors to the management area for decades. The lakes and streams in the area are a magnet for the outdoor recreation enthusiast.

The Cherokee National Historical Society in Oklahoma records the presence of Indians in the Peavine area and its surrounding region predating the Cherokees by thousands of years. Two ancient Indian trails traversed this region with evidence indicating that one of the old railroad lines was most likely laid along a former Indian trail. The presence of Indian burial grounds has also been documented in Hebbertsburg.

4. It will provide an alternative route to highly traveled roads.

Although many visitors use Interstate 40 to get to Peavine, many of them choose alternatives to the highly-traveled interstate route and drive north on State Routes 101 (Lantana Road), 28, or 68. They also travel from the east or west on State Route 1, US 70N. Each of these routes is already part of the Parkway system.

5. It will furnish motorists with a safe and relaxing route by which to experience the beauty of Tennessee.

Including this northern portion of Peavine into the existing network of parkway routes will enable motorists to experience the beauty of Tennessee and complete their travels to Fairfield Glade Resort on a route that is as scenic, safe and relaxing as the other state roads they traveled -- and which are already designated as Parkways. For visitors to Fairfield Glade who travel I-40 from the west or east, Peavine's designation as a Parkway will allow them to complete their journey to the Cumberland Plateau on a scenic, relaxing and pleasant roadway.

The enjoyment of natural resources through various forms of recreation has become an important economic stimulus to the county. The community of Fairfield Glade offers 12,700 acres containing eleven lakes, five golf courses and a variety of other recreational activities. All of these amenities and attractions have earned the resort its placement in Where to Retire Magazine's Top 50 retirement communities nationwide, a notable accomplishment.

6. How Peavine will contribute to the parkway system.

When the Parkway system was originally developed, the northern portion of Peavine was a gravel road -- a much-less-traveled, simple, two-lane county road to a fairly new development with an uncertain future.

Today things are very different. Cumberland County has experienced substantial growth, much of it due to the influx of retirees for the past 40 years, with its population increasing from about 20,000 in 1970 to over 52,000 in 2010. Much of that growth is directly attributable to the Fairfield Glade Resort community. In addition to growth due to in-migration, current estimates indicate that 90,000 visitors travel annually to the great state of Tennessee headed for Fairfield Glade Resort. They all arrive here via Peavine.

These visitors, as well as the residents of Cumberland County, specifically those who daily travel Peavine, place a high value on scenic and natural beauty. Protecting that beauty today and preserving it for future generations is vital in a fast-changing world; however, Cumberland County is not a comprehensively-zoned county and places no guidelines or limitations whatsoever on outdoor advertising in unincorporated areas.

As the Fairfield Glade Resort has grown, its economic influence has increased; therefore, businesses have a strong incentive to erect outdoor advertising targeted to its residents and high volume of visitors. What has resulted is an out-of-control proliferation of billboards and home-made signs along the Peavine corridor that spoil the natural and scenic beauty of the area, divert and detract visibility from local picturesque sites, create road hazard distractions, and degrade property values.

A Parkway designation would help remedy these problems and would no doubt contribute to instilling a positive impression with visitors coming to enjoy recreational activities, and, in many cases, who are also considering Tennessee as a possible new home. Including Peavine in the Parkway system will preserve and protect its scenic and natural qualities and accomplish those important goals.

7. It has strong community support.

One way to show strong community support is through a petition, and the Friends kicked off its petition campaign May 14, 2013 (Exhibit 2). By signing the petition, a significant number of interested residents, property owners, and timeshare guests used this opportunity to ask TDOT to designate Peavine as a Scenic Parkway, agreeing that the designation will protect the beauty of Cumberland County, preserve it for future generations, provide a safe and scenic route for motorists traveling to Fairfield Glade and surrounding historic and recreational destinations, and place limits on outdoor advertising. With their signatures, these concerned individuals urged our community leaders to support the inclusion of Peavine in the Tennessee Scenic Parkway program. At this writing we have 1,366 signatures in support of the designation. We have included a copy of the first page of collected signatures for your review (Exhibit 3). All of the signatures are available for inspection upon request.
Community leaders also support designating Peavine as a Scenic Parkway. Enclosed are six statements of support from community leaders (Exhibit 4):

1. The Fairfield Glade Community Club board;
2. The Rotary Club of Fairfield Glade;
3. Sue Brown, owner, Collage;
4. Pam Fountain, broker, Century 21;
5. Tonya Hinch, Chair of Crossville’s Hinch and Associates, Director of Downtown Crossville, Inc., and
6. Carmin Lynch, Cumberland County 9th District Cumberland County Commissioner.

John Kinnunen, 9th District Cumberland County Commissioner and Mary Helen McHugh, Broker/Owner Gwin Realty, provided their statements directly to the Commissioner in May 2013 and September 2013, respectively.

Next Steps

This designation is feasible. It involves approximately six miles of Peavine from Crossville’s city limits to the Fairfield Glade Resort. Six miles on the north side from mile marker 18 to marker 24, and four miles on the south side from mile marker 18 to marker 22. The Department of Transportation will, in the next year or so, begin its project to widen and improve Peavine. Any illegal signs will be removed during the construction process, and permitted signs may be relocated. The expansion project and this designation request are separate, but the goals complement both projects.

This designation is appropriate. The road meets the requirements in the regulations to be a Parkway and meets the guidelines on TDOT’s website. It has strong community support and will contribute to the overall parkway system.

As the Friends finalize this request, yet another V-sign is being erected on Peavine that will further contribute to destroying its historical, scenic, and natural qualities and degrade motorists’ enjoyment of a safe and relaxing route by which to experience the beauty of Tennessee.

Now is the time to include all of State Route 101 in the Tennessee Parkway system. Now is the time to put this appropriate protection in place that will meet the parkway system’s stated goal. Now is the time to approve this designation.

Looking to the future
The Friends of Peavine are committed to a vision of Peavine as a safe, attractive, and pleasant route of travel to Fairfield Glade Resort. To that end, and in addition to this effort, we have adopted several miles of Peavine under Tennessee’s Adopt-a-Highway program. Local residents are enthusiastic about making a positive contribution toward protecting Peavine. We look forward to partnering with TDOT to minimize litter along the roadway.

Sincerely,


Cathy Tipton, Moderator
Friends of Peavine
www.friendsofpeavine.org