Developer of proposed luxurious RV park in Bradley County says survey reveals no Native American artifacts, burial websites

CHARLESTON, Tenn. — A proposed luxurious leisure car resort on the Hiwassee River in Bradley County, Tennessee, floor to a halt this month after recommendations the property may maintain Native American artifacts or burial websites.

Billy Thomas, developer of the RV resort, stated he is aware of Native Individuals lived alongside “each inch of the Hiwassee.” He paid nearly $6,000 for archaeological testing that didn’t discover any important artifacts or proof of burial websites on his riverside tract on Higher River Street. The matter delayed a County Fee vote on the rezoning of his property.

Bradley County Commissioner Charlotte Peak was notified of doable relics or burial websites on the property.

“There is not any query that Indians have been on this property, however that does not imply there are burial websites,” Thomas stated Thursday as he stood on an previous bridge on his 8 acres sandwiched between the Hiwassee River and Chatata Creek east of the city of Charleston. He has began work to show the bridge right into a timber-covered span, making a novel entrance to the property.

Thomas, 64, is a longtime developer within the county who in previous a long time developed cell residence parks. If he can get approval, Thomas desires to assemble a high-end park to promote or lease areas to luxurious RV homeowners searching for retirement or seasonal houses in a growth with full facilities.

Tentative designs embrace massive concrete pads for luxurious RVs, a clubhouse, neighborhood pavilion and fireplace pit, and a ship launch website on the creek.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga planning panel turns down Lakesite RV park)

Peak raised the difficulty on the fee’s July assembly as a result of she thought her fellow commissioners ought to know issues have been raised about potential relics or burial websites by individuals who stated they’d information of arrowheads and different gadgets being discovered on the property, she stated Thursday in an electronic mail. She additionally notified the panel there have been neighbors who oppose the event of a cell residence park.

“I do not see any motive that his property can be denied rezoning since his property meets all the standards to be (rezoned) and the Planning Fee voted to rezone it,” she stated. “I commend him for wanting to seek out out for positive if there was a notable burial floor. He isn’t required by the state or the county to do such a examine. Mr. Thomas is a good builder, and I’ve little doubt that if he did hit bones that he would cease instantly per state legislation requirement.”

Longtime Charleston resident Chris Scoggins spoke in regards to the issues in a latest county assembly however he contends he would not need to cease the undertaking as a lot as he desires such proposals to be higher vetted for historic significance, he stated Saturday in a telephone interview.

Close by property homeowners have relayed tales to Scoggins over time about plowing fields not removed from the Thomas property the place bones and skulls have been uncovered by the work. Scoggins stated these accounts are motive for higher vetting however he made clear he would not declare such artifacts have been discovered there, whereas noting arrowheads are current on the property and on properties all alongside the river within the Charleston space tied to the Civil Struggle and Cherokee and earlier Native American historical past.

“All I stated was there’s a terrific chance of it, realizing the historical past up there,” Scoggins stated. “I hope his intentions are good. I want all people concerned good luck.”

Cumberland Utilized Analysis Associates Inc. in Chattanooga carried out the archaeological survey of the property July 8 by digging 20 pattern take a look at websites as much as 2 meters deep to display screen for artifacts or indicators of graves, based on a administration abstract on the assessments offered by Thomas.

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Proposed luxurious RV park in Bradley County

Not one of the assessments yielded archaeological supplies, based on the abstract.

(READ MORE: Luxurious RV park slated to open in Fort Oglethorpe this summer time)

Moreover, the Tennessee Division of Atmosphere and Conservation has no data that might cease the event, company spokeswoman Kim Schofinski stated Thursday in an electronic mail.

“TDEC doesn’t have a document of an archaeological website of any form on this property,” Schofinski stated, and more often than not it would not matter anyway.

“There isn’t any state legislation that requires personal landowners to keep away from disturbing archaeological websites, even when identified websites are current on their property,” she stated.

“An exception is human graves — all human graves are protected underneath state legislation no matter land possession,” she stated. “If graves, burials or human stays are recognized throughout development, state legislation requires that every one work cease and that native legislation enforcement, the county coroner or health worker, and the state archaeologist are contacted.”


Thomas’ proposed resort has one other opponent in Higher River Street resident Daniel Marlow, who launched a web based petition towards the event and says he desires the county to create new zoning particularly for Thomas’ proposal.

Marlow’s petition had garnered greater than 240 signatures by Friday morning. A few week in the past, Thomas launched a web based petition in reply to indicate help for his growth. Thomas’ petition had greater than 75 signatures Friday.

“I am not against any growth. I am against developments that take farmland and create one thing that reduces surrounding property values,” Marlow, 39, stated Friday in a telephone interview.

Marlow, who lives in a modular residence on a non-public parcel down the street from the Thomas property, stated his lifelong ties to Higher River Street return generations and he would not need to see destructive change.

Marlow is anxious new zoning rules handed in Could for cell residence parks and journey trailer parks enable an excessive amount of room for low-income housing if Thomas’ proposed plan fails or the property is later offered to a different developer.

(READ MORE: Cultural artifacts discovered at proposed TVA energy line route may pressure reroute of transmission line)

Marlow desires a brand new class created “that includes the luxurious aspect of this resort and locks these property builders into what they promise the neighborhood,” he stated.

“I need to be actually clear; I do not assume it is Billy’s intentions at present to place trailers on that property,” Marlow stated Friday, “however I additionally assume the fee wants to consider what occurs if his present plan fails.”

Scoggins stated Saturday that the thought Marlow proposes can be a step in the fitting course to verify builders take a extra accountable method.

Bradley County Commissioner Mike Hughes, a fee consultant on the county’s planning physique, stated Marlow’s steered new rule in all probability would not be helpful as a result of any adjustments in possession or adjustments to deliberate growth must undergo the whole planning course of once more. Nevertheless, Marlow’s thought is underneath examine, Hughes stated Friday in a telephone interview.

Bradley County’s standing cell residence park rules name for paved roads that meet county requirements, and that may be why no cell residence parks have been proposed or authorized in no less than 10 years, county Director of Planning and Inspections Bently Thomas stated Friday in a telephone interview.

He stated rezoning of the property shall be on the fee agenda for a vote Aug. 1.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Observe him on Twitter @BenBenton.


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