Group of UT tailgaters face roadblock from city

Group of UT tailgaters face roadblock from city

Posted:
The group of around 50 fans recently chose a location on Donald Lee Derrickson Ave next to a church as their new location. The group of around 50 fans recently chose a location on Donald Lee Derrickson Ave next to a church as their new location.
"It's real convenient to hit Concord and hit Neyland Drive and go to the ball games and that's what we enjoy," James "Doc" Sternberg said. "It's real convenient to hit Concord and hit Neyland Drive and go to the ball games and that's what we enjoy," James "Doc" Sternberg said.
"At this moment, we have to enforce the zoning code as it exists rather than how somebody wishes it were," City of Knoxville Law Director Charles Swanson said. "At this moment, we have to enforce the zoning code as it exists rather than how somebody wishes it were," City of Knoxville Law Director Charles Swanson said.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A group of dedicated University of Tennessee Volunteers fans tell 6 News they have gone to great lengths to invest in a tailgating site, only to learn the city prohibits their stay.

James Sternberg, known as "Doc," said he has been tailgating with the group called the "Doc Stock" group for more than a decade.

They get together every year to enjoy good food, good company and their beloved Vols.

"This is strictly for avid and I guess you'd call rabid UT football fans," Sternberg said.

The group of around 50 fans recently chose a location on Donald Lee Derrickson Avenue next to a church as their new location.

"It's real convenient to hit Concord and hit Neyland Drive and go to the ball games and that's what we enjoy," Sternberg said.

Sternberg said they also have permission from the church.

Sternberg said the group has invested $7,000 in the site, putting in gravel pathways and setting up utility poles.

However, last month, their power was shut off, and the city said it's because the site is not zoned for RVs.

"At this moment, we have to enforce the zoning code as it exists rather than how somebody wishes it were," City of Knoxville Law Director Charles Swanson said.

Swanson said the land is zoned C-3, which is normally meant for commercial use. The classification also allows the church.

The problem for Sternberg and his group is that the law doesn't allow RVs or campgrounds.

"We're putting an investment into this property," Sternberg said.

"I would hate for them to have to eat those expenses and it would be nice if they didn't have to but you really have to make sure when you're engaging in activities like this that it's an appropriate activity for the area where you're doing it," Swanson said.

The city said the best way to resolve the issue is for the group to work to pass an amendment to the current ordinance.

"It really sounds to me what Dr. Sternberg needs to do is have a council member or someone from MPC introduce legislation that would include this particular use as a qualifying particular use," Swanson said.

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