Tue
Aug 21 2007
07:39 am

The state has halted a proposed commercial development at Norris Dam State Park:

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner James Fyke said that after reviewing the proposal and public input on the project, the state will not allow the development to move forward in the state park.

According to the article, Fyke's letter says "At best, it would be a stretch to describe the proposed lodge as a component of the state park system. Placing a third-party commercial operation within a state park is not a precedent that we wish to set for all state parks."

The article also says that Bredesen refused to sign legislation that would have allowed the use of tax revenues from the proposed convention center/hotel to pay off $14 million in high-risk bonds issued by Campbell County to fund the project.

If these developments are such a great idea, why are taxpayers frequently asked to carry the risk?

Related: Norris Dam State Park

178
like
Johnny Ringo's picture

Dang.

And I had that magnificent lot overlooking Fall Creek Falls all picked out, too.

Ennui's picture

Good news.

Good news.

Factchecker's picture

Hooray!!

That is what government is for. This has made my day. Thanks for informing us.

Hayduke's picture

Glad they finally(?) stopped

Glad they finally(?) stopped it, but why was the door ever cracked open to make them think they were going to get to do this? Seems like this proposal should have been met from the start with "Heh heh. . . um, NO." A lot of folks on both sides of this wasted a lot of effort because of the ambiguity.

Knoxquerious's picture

That sucks! Every time I am

That sucks! Every time I am hiking around High Point in the Norris Watershed I get a craving for a Big Mac. Sometimes I wish there was a Micky D's on top of Newfound Gap also. (Sarcasm Alert)

rikki's picture

capitalism

why was the door ever cracked open to make them think they were going to get to do this?

Because the developer hired Democrat Bill Owen to lobby for the project. Owen managed to get Campbell County to create a Central Business Improvement District on forested land on a cliff above the lake, lining up the same convention-center, tax-recapture financing scheme used in downtown Knoxville. Sadly, TVA's moratorium and eventual decision to curtail land sales undercut this visionary financing plan.

Rick Laney of the Maryville Daily Times worked hard to publicize this plan, and he deserves thanks for his effort. Ultimately, it was TVA that foiled the plan and made it easy for Fyke to deliver the fatal blow.

local_yokel's picture

Credit where Credit is Due

Rick Laney did a good job covering the story, but Billy Minser was, once again, the David-bringing-down-Goliath on this. Billy's an amazing guy. He had just defeated Big Development on the little matter of TVA's Land Use Plan when this garbage came up. He should really be the Conservationist of the Century instead of just the year. ((link...))

Guess the century is still young, though. ;)

R. Neal's picture

They were talking about a

They were talking about a tram and an ice-skating rink, too. Seriously.

Hayduke's picture

Even without the commercial

Even without the commercial schemes, Tennessee (and Kentucky) state parks seem to be way overdeveloped. Lots of money and real estate used up on parking lots, mowed grass, lodges and conference centers to the detriment of the natural environments the parks were intended to protect and showcase. Norris Dam State Park for example has a huge swimming pool, but no good way to go down to the lake and swim if you don't bring a boat and pay the commercial marina operator to let you put it in.

Factchecker's picture

Good points, Hayduke

It's like our parents took us up to these places in their and showed us the beauty and majesty of these tree-lined lakes from their 20hp Evinrudes.

Then they gave us the keys and we clearcut as many trees as possible to build our weekend houses and we sold the Evinrude for a 300hp V8 powered "bass boat" (heh), with 18" subwoofers for our hip-hop tunes to boom throughout the coves, and a mini-fleet of jet skis for our kids.

A lot of these places have been ruined by some narrow, selfish, spoiled assholes. A lot of Ws everywhere. No wonder he got votes.

Mykhailo's picture

Seems like this proposal

Seems like this proposal should have been met from the start with "Heh heh. . . um, NO."

FWIW, from my (admittedly limited) experience with Jim Fyke, I'm pretty confident that that was his reaction, and he did everything he could to make sure this didn't get built.

bizgrrl's picture

the Evinrude for a 300hp V8

the Evinrude for a 300hp V8 powered "bass boat" (heh), with 18" subwoofers for our hip-hop tunes to boom throughout the coves, and a mini-fleet of jet skis for our kids

These are reasons I do not like going to the lake anymore. Too many idiots that don't know or don't care.

Justin's picture

They were talking about a

They were talking about a tram and an ice-skating rink, too. Seriously.

What, no Rodeo? :)

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