By Charlotte Underwood 

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – Hank Hamblin of LaFollette, addressed the county commissioners at their workshop on Monday evening asking that Oak Run Lane be added to the county’s approved off-highway vehicles (OHV) routes.

According to Hamblin, he represents other citizens from Lake Side Acres on Oak Run Lane who want their road added to the official OHV route. The area is off West High Knob Road not far from the White Bridge.

Five other individuals from Lake Side Acres were also in attendance at the meeting.

Hamblin told commissioners that about two months ago, a sign was put up on Oak Run Lane that said no OHV’s allowed. According to Hamblin, he has owned property out there since 2006 and “it had never been an issue to drive a four-wheeler or OHV on the road to go access the nearby trail system a few minutes away in Tank Springs.

“After talking to several neighbors, we feel the sign is unfair and oppressive even. We understand what the sheriff wants and where he’s coming from, but we have a real good group of law-abiding citizens out there,” Hamblin said.

“We are asking that the sign be removed and asking to be added to the OHV route; we’re just looking for a fair resolution,” Hamblin said. He told commissioners Oak Run was a mile long road that dead ended in a cul-de-sac and that there were nine houses on the road, with four of them being vacation homes. He said there was no through traffic coming through on his road.

Sheriff Wayne Barton addressed the commission briefly in response saying that he had received a complaint regarding “loud music and bright lights” from OHVs on that road, but it had just been the one complaint.

“Oak Run Lane is not an approved route. You all know we’ve discussed the ATVs the last year and a half ever since I’ve been in office. We got a complaint; I was under the impression the lady did live there, it was a complaint about the loud music, the bright lights and Mr. Hamblin and I talked at length. I didn’t know the population makeup until tonight,” Barton said.

He went on to say that when he got complaints, they would put up signs to educate the public, as far as people from Campbell County and people from out of state regarding the approved OHV routes.

“The signs say these are the roads you can ride on, and these are the ones you can’t. The road I live on, we put up a sign that says no OHVs after dark, because it is an approved road, but none of the roads are approved after dark,” Barton said. He added that the problem was “one bad apple ruins the whole bunch.”

“I’m not necessarily singling out Oak Run, but the problem that we have all over the county, we have people that do not respect the neighborhoods, they do not respect the state law that says you have to be off the road at night. They have the music so loud, because the machines are so loud and that’s where the issues come in. And I’m not saying your group is or this is happening on Oak Run, but the reason we put the sign up is because what was told to me was a resident of that area was complaining of the loud music and the bright lights. Anytime we get a complaint if it’s not a road that’s approved, we put a sign up that says no OHVs. If it is an approved road, we put up a sign that says no OHVs after dark,” Barton said. He also added that the sheriff’s department had several of these signs torn down in different areas of the county.

Commissioner Scott Kitts asked County Attorney Joe Coker about the process of having roads added to the OHV list.

“This body does not have the authority on its own. First, you would have to pass a resolution, then it must go to Nashville to be sent in for approval,” Coker said.

Commissioner Dewayne Kitts suggested the recreation committee could look at the issue and give its recommendation before the issue would come back to the full body of the commission.

Kitts set a recreation committee meeting for Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30 pm. He asked Hamblin and others in attendance to come to the committee meeting. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/12/2024-6AM)