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Big Creek Marine gets provisional OK on plans

Members of the Norris Planning Commission and city staff look over the plans for the proposed Big Creek Marine business during Monday night’s meeting. Standing is Councilwoman Loretta Painter. (photo:G. Chambers Williams III )
The Norris Planning Commission on Monday night gave provisional approval to plans for a proposed $3 million boat sales, service and storage business along Andersonville Highway.

That paves the way for a building permit to be issued to Big Creek Marine, LLC., and construction work to begin by spring, the developer said.

Approval was given on a unanimous vote, contingent on the company submitting a few more details about the project to the Norris city staff, including a landscaping plan and dimensions of proposed parking lot spaces.

City Building Inspector Lisa Crumpley gave her OK to the plans with those stipulations, and recommended that the commission move ahead with the approval vote.

Mayor Chris Mitchell said of the plans, “I like everything I see,” and told the developers he supports their business and wishes them success.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the Planning Commission approved a revised survey plat for one piece of the property being developed, eliminating a longstanding but unneeded street right-of-way provision that the Norris City Council voted last month to abandon.

Surveyor Tony Crutchfield, who drew up the plat for Big Creek Marine, said the revised plat needed to receive the Planning Commission’s approval to be filed with the Anderson County register of deeds. That paves the way for the developer to be able to get a title insurance policy on the property, he said.

Big Creek Marine plans to sell and service luxury boats and provide year-round protected storage for pleasure boats.

The site is on the south side of Andersonville Highway between Exit 122 Outdoor Power Equipment and Meadow View Senior Living.

City officials had expected Big Creek Marine to bring its proposed site and building plans to the Planning Commission last April or May, after the City Council OK’d the rezoning in March.

“We’re running a little behind, but we’re still planning to move ahead with our plans,” James Broyles, one of the owners, said last summer.

Big Creek Marine, which now operates a similar facility in the LaFollette area, plans a single building to house the sales, service and parts operations at the front of the property, along Andersonville Highway, Broyles said.

According to the plans submitted Monday, the storage facility will consist of 90 units in seven buildings at the rear of the property, he said.

Broyles said he still has the necessary financing “locked in” for the project, and hopes to begin construction by spring.

Big Creek Marine closed on the purchase of the land for the business last May 18, and set up a “Future Home of Big Creek Marine” sign for the business.

The company paid $800,000 for the two parcels, one with 2.65 acres fronting on Andersonville Highway, and the other with 5.55 acres fronting on Acuff Lane, right behind the other tract.

The land was purchased from Clayton Holding Company, which is part of the Clayton Homes business.

Clayton had been trying to sell the property for several years, since acquiring it in a foreclosure action.

Broyles owns the business with his wife, Jessica.

Rezoning was requested in January 2023 by Clayton HC for the boat business to change the front 2.65-acre parcel to C-2 (Commercial) for the sales and service part of the business, and the second parcel, 5.55 acres at the rear, to I-1 (Light Industrial) for the boat storage area.

An unrelated boat storage facility opened recently nearby.