Ray Anderson, now owner of the 31-acre property on Thongtree Road off Highway 5, requested a rezoning from single-family residential to general commercial. Anderson, who had plans of changing the property to an RV park for tourism in the warmer months, presented his case with documentation.

An abandoned yurt resort south of Sunrise Beach came into view at the Thursday Camden County Commission meeting.

Ray Anderson, now owner of the 31-acre property on Thongtree Road off Highway 5, requested a rezoning from single-family residential to general commercial. Anderson, who had plans of changing the property to an RV park for tourism in the warmer months, presented his case with documentation.

Anderson said that the investment would inject one million dollars of investment into the community and would be a way to grow the job market. He claimed that this proposal would help bring in tax dollars to the community as well. In his research, he noted that this RV campsite method would be the least invasive to the land.

Multiple community members from that area came forward with opposing comments to Anderson’s proposition. Bill Mack, an area resident for 25 years, said that he worries about would allowing commercial access to the zone could open up to in the future. He referenced prior experiences with higher populations in the area and the problems it brought to using his boat in the lake.

Other residents brought forth worries about factors such as large upticks in traffic, speed of vehicles in the residential area, and the worsening effects of these concerns if businesses are installed into the zoning area.

Camden County Commissioner Don Williams followed these concerns with his own opinion on the issue, stating that they want to continue focusing on homes in this area and that they must look to protect this.

Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty said that the commision must protect the most important aspect of this area, which is the opportunity to own a home with a dock and maintain the desirability of purchase.

With Commissioner Bev Thomas’ absence, Williams and Hasty followed with a vote to deny Anderson’s request, falling in line with the recommendation for denial from the Camden County Planning Commission. The planning commission had stated concerns about the property’s distance from the commercial areas along Highway 5.

Anderson has previously stated an intent to possibly put in lower income senior housing on this property if the rezoning was denied.

A modern yurt is a portable round camping unit often built on a wooden platform. The former owner had placed 10 yurts in this style on the lakefront tract prior to receiving the necessary zoning. After the commercial parks zoning for the yurt resort was denied, it was eventually abandoned.

At the time of the planning commission a couple of months ago, he had already had most of the old yurts removed from the site.

In other business, the McDonald family requested a rezoning of their property from R-1 to A-1. The request came with a unanimous recommendation of approval by the planning and zoning board. The property had been in the McDonald family for generations and Patrick McDonald came forward with the hope to rezone in order to raise goats. McDonald raises dairy goats for use of milk and dairy products for his family, which has issues with lactose. The board approved this request with no opposition.

Past reporting by Lake Sun editorial staff member Amy Wilson contributed to this story.