In a recent meeting, the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission unanimously decided to delay its decision on a special use permit application for a proposed camping site near Cave Spring. The decision came following an extended discussion and strong opposition from nearby property owners and planning staff.
Andrew Devon, a resident with a global perspective, is the hopeful visionary behind this prospective outdoor retreat. With several years of worldwide travel under his belt, he has expanded his spiritual understanding, immersed himself in diverse cultures, and fostered a deeper connection with nature. Devon’s idea is to provide an idyllic space where friends, family, and others can camp, enjoy the land, and build their own connections with nature.
Devon’s proposal includes an element of luxury with “glamping” sites, an increasingly popular trend that brings glamour to traditional camping, intended for overnight stays. However, this innovative outdoor lodging concept has not been well-received by all, igniting concerns among adjacent property owners and the planning staff.
Among the main issues raised was the site’s limited access, provided only by a narrow gravel drive that intersects several other properties. This particular arrangement poses potential hindrances to emergency service access. The property currently lacks an adequate septic system, a critical infrastructure component that must be addressed before any development.
Brice Wood, assistant planning director, has raised this concern by stating, “It would require a septic tank. There is no sewer anywhere nearby. There is no public water on the property, so a well would be required.” He also brought attention to the absence of density restrictions, indicating that while the plans currently propose space for seven to nine tents, unrestricted approval could potentially enable the creation of up to a hundred campsites.
Several neighbors voiced their objections during the commission’s meeting, citing safety, traffic, and the discomfort of having unknown individuals camping so close to their homes. Devon, responsive and understanding of these concerns, expressed that had he known about these issues, he might not have filed the permit application.
“I most likely wouldn’t have even filed the permit,” Devon said. “The last thing I want to do is create any animosity between the neighbors and the community.”
During the proceedings, Planning Commission member Charles Love made an initial motion to approve the application, but this motion was later withdrawn after additional discussions. Love then proposed to postpone the application, allowing Devon more time to present a detailed site plan and provide an alternate solution for accessing the property.
The commission unanimously approved the motion to postpone, giving Devon another opportunity to address the concerns raised by the community and the planning staff. This decision marks a pause rather than an end to Devon’s glamping vision, allowing for further dialogue and problem-solving before the project can move forward.