Tourist Area Ponders Campground Growth Issue
The county planning commission for Blount County, Tenn., located on the western side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, has put a proposal to allow commercial campgrounds of five acres or more in tourist-oriented areas back on the table. Planning commissioners will discuss it at Thursday’s (Sept. 23) meeting, The Daily Times, Maryville, reported.
The commission last discussed the matter back in July before deciding to defer until after the county general election. It’s been a much discussed topic. The Blount County Commission sent the proposed zoning amendment back to the planning commission for more discussion in May, the second time within a year. County commissioners have expressed preferences such as removing U.S. 321 through Wears Valley from the list, having camping cabins taken out of the regulations, increasing the minimum size to 10 acres and adding requirements to combat light pollution.
Previously, the planning commission recommended allowing commercial campgrounds in specific rural areas deemed significant to tourism.
The proposal had already been revised to prohibit campgrounds in the R-1 zone. The minimum size for a commercial campground would be five acres.