The Carter County Planning Commission in eastern Tennessee met briefly before visiting a couple of sites in Butler Tuesday afternoon (July 28), including the RV campground currently being built on the property of Cove Ridge Marina, which has been the center of an ongoing controversy involving property owners in the Point Eight Pines Subdivision, according to the Elizabethton (Tenn.) Star

Resident Pat Middleton said the RV campground must be at least 50 feet from a resident’s property line. Another resident, Billie Dabbondanza, asked about the campground entrance road that was placed only 10 feet from one resident’s property line. 

Planning Director Chris Schuettler said that and other concerns have been determined to be a civil matter. 

“The only thing I can deal with is actual structures,” Schuettler explained. 

Board member Lynn Tipton said the residents would have to file suit against the marina owner. 

“If they don’t comply with our ordinance, we’ll bring suit, but not for something that’s not covered by our ordinance,” Tipton said. 

Schuettler said that in 1992 he initiated county zoning, which took him two years to complete. He also added ordinances to the zoning laws to cover cell towers, buffers and streams and other issues for the entire county, except for Roan Mountain, which was not included in zoning at that time. 

In October 2003, countywide zoning was passed by the county commission. “I have a rough draft on RV parks and marinas,” Schuettler said. “I’ve got some very knowledgeable individuals that I have contact with. We’re going to have to add to our ordinance. We don’t have control of RV parks.” 

The residents claimed that there is no record that the county ever approved non-conforming land use rights for the marina to build the RV park, which they said was discontinued on one part of the marina property and then resumed several years later on the current site.