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Bryan Johnson talks while giving a tour of his property in Flintstone in March 2019. Johnson planned to establish a high-end camping business on the 16-acre site but has not been able to open the business due to Walker County, Tenn., zoning issues.

Walker County, Tenn., allows 10 zoning districts ranging from agricultural to residential to industrial to commercial and even one for the Chickamauga Battlefield Corridor Overlay District. And there may be one more on its way, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

On Jan. 9, the Walker County Planning Commission discussed adding a new commercial agriculture district for properties hosting yurts, cabins, campgrounds, treehouses, and RV parks.

The discussion on this topic has been on hold for about a year.

Last February, the commission blocked a property owner’s effort to launch a 16-acre high-end camping business in Flintstone that featured 12 yurts. The owner’s land, which was zoned R-2 residential, allowed for recreational activity but needed to have a conditional-use variance required of campgrounds.

At the meeting, neighboring residents protested the owner’s request, and the planning commission unanimously voted to recommend the variance be denied.

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield, who had the final say, decided to table the matter until the county could first come up with regulations for short-term rentals in general.

“It’s not like we want to prevent these. We [don’t] want them to be a problem,” Planning Commission Chairman Phillip Cantrell said at the Jan. 9 work session meeting.

The newly proposed zoning would complement county laws that came into effect last year.

Walker County now requires short-term vacation rentals in the unincorporated parts of the county to have a business license. These properties are also subject to a hotel/motel tax of 5% which will jump to 8% later this year.

Rentals are allowed in all zones appropriate for residential use.

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