Local dinosaur park given one year extension to meet code regulations

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BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A popular park in the Tri- Cities has been given one year to meet code regulations, or it could be forced to shut its doors.

Owner of Backyard Terrors, Chris Kastner makes the dinosaurs come to life and it is all on display in his backyard on Walnut Grove Rd in Bluff City.

“There is probably about 50 dinosaurs total somewhere here,” said Kastner. “I started in 2007 with one dinosaur…since then it has really grown in popularity.”

But Backyard Terrors could become extinct; if they can’t meet Sullivan County’s zoning codes.

“They sent an inspector out, he looked over the place, filed a report, and that started this whole process,” he said.

There are multiple zoning issues that need to be fixed including a bigger parking lot, new roofing for some exhibits, and brand new bathrooms.

“We started out with about $10,000 worth of improvements,” he said. “But it looks like now, the restroom alone is going to be 8 to 10 thousand….on top of everything else were looking at 10 to 20 thousand.”

The park runs completely on donations, so Kastner said without more money it could take them awhile to fix.

Wednesday night the Sullivan County Board of Zoning and Appeals met with Kastner and granted him one more year to meet the code guidelines.

“I hope that he is able to get the funding to make the improvements that he needs to,” said Chairman of the Board of Zoning and Appeals, Jerry Johnson.

Until then, the park will be preserved and Kastner will continue to take guests back in time.

“Hopefully people will come forward and help out with it, and it will keep going like it has been and we will beat that deadline they’ve got,” he said.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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