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Cookeville Council Makes Changes To Campground/RV Rules

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Council Makes Changes To Campground/RV Rules

Cookeville City Council approved new codes for campgrounds and RV parks Thursday night, slightly amending rules proposed by the Planning Commission.

The changes will continue to allow the facilities in the General Commercial District. Landowners could also appeal to have the use allowed in the Local Commercial District.

After a Monday Work Session, the planning department made new recommendations to limit occupancy to less than 30 days. Council Member Eric Walker said it is an effort to emphasize campgrounds and RV parks as tourist-focused.

“We’ve seen more and more tourism to our area, more and more people for athletic tournaments using our facilities,” Walker said. “It’s really helped our hotel/motel sales tax volume in the city. This could be just one more avenue to bring that in. That’s why I believe the 30-day requirement is important. That’s going to be able to allow that transfer. It doesn’t make these live-in RV parks.”

The city only receives hotel/motel tax at a brick and morter hotel for those who stay 30 days or less continuously.

The zoning code amendments also add new standards for the campgrounds and RV parks for the first time.

The planning commission spent several months on the changes after a landowner asked about the potential for such a usage. Planning Commission members proposed the removing the facilities from the General Commercial zones because they wanted to limit the land-use on main corridors such as Willow Avenue and Jefferson Avenue.

“We spent a lot of hour work sessions trying to come up with something that they thought would be appropriate for the city,” Community Development Director Jon Ward said.

Council members at a Monday work session said they believed the free-market system would take care of that, with developers able to make more money through another usage of prime real estate.

Ward said the planning commission saw land on Highway 70 near the city limits to the east and west as potential areas where these developments might make sense.

Ward said the tourism aspect of these facilities has grown in recent years.

The new CL addition requires major street frontage for such uses. It also includes limits on proximity to neighborhoods.

Council members also approved beginning the process to annex some 74 total acres off Tennessee Avenue on Hawkins Crawford Road. The proposal now goes to the planning commission for study.

Council recognized the Cookeville Water System, after it recorded a perfect 100 on the state’s sanitary survey. Water Quality Control Department Barry Turner said the two-day insepection takes place every 18 months. Turner said the staff works hard to record a perfect score.

Council approved a contract for audit services. The 2023 audit would cost roughly $56,000 with additional travel and out of pocket costs. The price is a roughly two percent increase from last year. The city will use Blankenship CPA Group of middle Tennessee. The firm has performed the audit the last two years.

Council also set a May 4 public hearing for the rezoning of land at Old Sparta Road and Jefferson Avenue. The Planning Commission voted to rezone the land from single-family residential to local commercial.


The post Cookeville Council Makes Changes To Campground/RV Rules appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.