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Why a proposed water park, RV and glamping resort faces an…
Douglas Strong believes Dickson citizens would embrace new recreational and family activities.
A water park. Glamping (a more luxurious version of traditional camping). Cabins. River access. RV connections.
Strong wants to provide these outdoor getaways, and he believes he has the best location to do so. He co-owns nearly 100 acres in southern Dickson County on Piney Road near Interstate 40
“It’s a beautiful part of the county,” Strong said.
The concept is currently called Vacay on the Piney. It was developed by Strong and his business partner as part of a larger business plan called Vacay Resorts. Strong hopes the Dickson property is the first of multiple outdoor vacation resorts.
Strong said his development team is discussing franchise opportunities with Jellystone Park Camp & Resorts. The goal, he added, would be to create “a higher-end branded park.”
Still, some residents say they mostly like things the way they are. They include neighbors of the site, many of whom posted signs nearby reading “Stop Piney River RV Park.” They also are opposed to Vacay on the Piney.
Among them is Jeff Chase, the county’s planning commissioner.
Chase recently made a motion against recommending rezoning the site. The Planning Commission later voted to not recommend that the site be rezoned for C-2 commercial use.
Next, the County Commission will have a final vote to determine if the site is rezoned to allow the project to move forward.
“This is a very important time in Dickson County,” Chase said.
He described the project as “by far the big dog” for proposed developments in his district. Chase also said the developers did a great job.
“But I have some issues with some of the things … that are happening here,” he said.
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Chase and other planning commissioners said many citizens had contacted them in opposition to the project. The commissioners considered that public opposition, and also expressed concerns about the following:
Increased traffic on rural roads.
Width of the rural roads.
Increased flooding along the Piney River.
Accuracy of the developers’ traffic study.
Planning Commissioner R.J. Comer described the traffic study as potentially “dangerous,” stating it didn’t include some necessary data. Comer said the study should have taken into account the size of hundreds of RVs navigating the rural road. The traffic study also didn’t count additional visitors seeking public access to the Piney River and the water park.
Strong, who lives in Williamson County and purchased the property last year, said the original idea for the land was different.
“We originally bought the property with the intent of keeping it for ourselves,” he said.
They have private recreational land in Hickman County, he said.
But after spending time on the property, the Vacay Resorts idea formed.
Strong said it’s the first outdoor resort his group has considered.
In addition to the RVs, water park and lodging, the group also plans to build basketball and pickleball courts, as well as an events center with up to 250 seats.
Strong emphasized the RV lots were not for long-term stays.
He also touted the potential river access.
“Currently there is no public access to the river anywhere in Dickson County,” Strong said. “There’s no parks or anything like that. That’s going to be part of this property project. Enjoy the Piney River as well.”
Strong provided the following statement about the development:
The proposed Outdoor Vacation Resort on the Piney is to invest over $16 million to create jobs, generate commerce at area small businesses, and contribute additional taxes to attract young families to vacation in Dickson County. Our project will provide access to a private river and transform it into a unique destination unlike any other in Middle Tennessee.
Young families in Dickson County are seeking more job opportunities, affordable options, and sustainable recreational activities for their families. By providing environmentally friendly amenities like picnic areas, playgrounds, water parks, and many other outdoor activities, we can attract vacationing and area families to shop, dine, and spend money in all of Dickson County.
We are committed to working with County Commissioners and local opposition to find common, mutually beneficial ground that enhances tourism and creates jobs for Dickson County without threatening its rural charm. We believe that by rezoning the property at 660 Piney Rd to C-2, we can create a thriving destination in Dickson County that benefits both its residents and visitors.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Vacay Resorts Dickson water park, RV, glamping resort faces opposition
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