Tennessee’s White House Board of Mayor and Alderman recently approved the first reading of an ordinance that could amend a zoning law that sets campgrounds‘ development standards.
The ordinance, drafted by White House Planning and Codes Director Ceagus Clark was brought up when a person approached the city to propose to construct an RV park and campground on a parcel of land situated along Union Road on the west side of the city.
“We were approached with just a general conversation of what they would like to do,” Clark said. “That’s what got me researching and realizing that we needed to put something in place, and so I looked around surrounding cities and compiled the ordinance before you.”
White House has a permitted use that is known as Commercial Amusement Services in the current zoning ordinance. There isn’t any provision in that ordinance to govern the specific commercial services that would be permitted, or what defines the scope in which they can be utilized.
According to Clark, the current standards are fairly strict in terms of what a developer or owner has to adhere to, such as how long a camper may be allowed to stay on a campsite. Additionally, they must follow the city’s design guidelines for commercial properties.
According to current regulations, there’s a 30-day maximum duration for visitors to stay in any type of camping site. When drafting the law, Clark noted that he also thought about extending the 30-day time restriction for transit employees who are employed in the area and living in the campground.
The person who sought out the city’s help for the proposal also wanted to retain one of the structures on the 17 acres located on Union Road and convert it into a store.
One of the issues the board brought up in this new law was provision for a sports track to be constructed on the proposed campground. Alderman Farris Bibb said that it could result in nuisance to White House residents.
“If I understand where this property is, right alongside the interstate, I don’t think it would be a problem as much there as it would be if somebody came in and said, ‘I like this operation and I want to build one down on 31-W,'” Bibb said.
“Because it’s a permitted use, I can do special exceptions and put some stipulations in there under special exceptions that they would have to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals and then meet some criteria,” Clark added. “So, I can have that when I come back next month.”
The discussion about the campground will be ongoing within the board as the second and third readings on the draft ordinance will be discussed at future board meetings.