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Auburn residents appeal plan for RV park

Conditional Use Permit approved by planners
By: Amber Marra,
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Residents have appealed to the Placer County Board of Supervisors to stop the installation of a 51-unit recreational vehicle park in Auburn.

Mike Reece, president of Old Woodside Construction & Development, wants to place the Headquarter RV Park next to Dingus McGee’s restaurant located to the north of the intersection of Bell and Musso Roads. A conditional use permit was approved by the Placer County Planning Commission on Oct. 11, but the county Board of Supervisors still has to approve rezoning of the 5 acres in question and an amendment to the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan before Reece can begin putting his park together.

“It makes sense. It’s a good use for the property,” Reece said.

But those who live in the general vicinity disagree.

After the planning commission approved the conditional use permit and recommended the board of supervisors approve the rezoning and amendment to the community plan, three couples who live in the area filed an appeal, citing issues with the amount of days RVs would be able to stay at the park, environmental issues and the potential for future commercial development.

Don and Diane Tomlinson are one of the three couples that filed the appeal and say they live a half mile away from where the park would be.

“We’ve got a rural lifestyle out here and this is going to destroy it,” Don Tomlinson said. “I don’t want a 1950s Airstream trailer held together with duct tape parked in my view coming to my house.”

Diane Tomlinson said she cannot imagine the proposed 51 units, a laundry facility, convenience store and housing for the park manager fitting on 5 acres.

“We’ve already got three other RV parks within four miles. We don’t need another one,” Diane Tomlinson said.

The planning commission held off on deciding whether or not to issue Reece the conditional use permit at the first public hearing on the matter on Aug. 9 when they heard the concerns of the surrounding community.

Paul Thompson, deputy planning director for Placer County, said one of the main changes his staff recommended to the commission on Oct. 11 was to allow RVs to stay at the Headquarter RV Park for 60 days, rather than the originally recommended 180.

He added that the commission decided to stick with the 180-day limit after research was presented by staff members stating that only RV parks operated by the state usually impose time limits. It was found that most privately operated RV parks have no limitation, including several parks within Placer County.

Under the rules approved by the planning commission, RVs could park at the Headquarter RV Park up to 180 days and after that must be gone for a week before they can return.

Reece said the park manager and the county would be responsible for ensuring the limit is enforced, but the residents who filed the appeal have their doubts.

“We also believe that the removal period is not sufficiently defined and should be at least 30 days. We are extremely concerned that without a genuine and measurable restriction on the length of stay, the RV Park will become a place of permanent residence for many individuals,” the appeal reads.

The planning commission’s recommendation to the board of supervisors to approve the modification to the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan stems from the fact that under the rezoning and modification proposed no more commercial space is created than what is already zoned within the property.

“Although the project proposes a rezoning of property from open space to commercial in the area described in the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan policy, the project also proposes the rezoning of existing commercial land to open space,” the staff report reads.

In order for the RV park to be placed on the property within sight of Interstate 80, a portion of the property must be rezoned from neighborhood commercial zone to general commercial zone.

The change requires a conditional use permit, which has already been obtained. A staff report states “the location of the project site is consistent with the intent of the general commercial zone district in that it is located along a major transportation corridor and would attract patrons from all areas of the community and region as it is easily accessible from a heavily traveled transportation corridor.”

Reece said the rezoning would not only be beneficial to bringing in more RVs, but also to addressing the residents’ concern of tree removal on the property.

“Basically there is no increased zoning on the entire site and that was made very clear up front and that is a constraint that I have stayed within,” Reece said. “That layout is much better than the original zoning location because there would be a lot more impact and tree removal in lieu of the location where the project is now situated.”

Thompson said the appeal and the rezoning will be brought before the board of supervisors within the next 90 days.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.