They wanted a co-op grocery store, or even a Christmas tree farm on the piece of property located on Musso Road in the Auburn/Bowman area next to Interstate 80. Instead, neighbors got what property owner Michael Reese had applied for —a 51-unit recreational vehicle (RV) park on the land that is home to Dingus McGee’s restaurant.
In a 4-1 decision that had emotional opposition Tuesday morning, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved Headquarter RV park, denying a third-party appeal, adopting a resolution amending the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan, adopting the mitigated negative declaration, upholding the Planning Commission’s approval and granting an ordinance approving the rezoning of a portion of the land from neighborhood commercial to general commercial.
“It’s been a fairly long process. It’s nice to have come to a decision on it,” said Reese, president of Old Woodside Construction & Development, after the ruling.
The property, which is also home to the Raspberry Hill golf course and driving range, consists of rolling terrain, golf course greens and manmade ponds. The property has Interstate 80 to its west and the Union Pacific Railroad to the east. The 30-acre property is zoned residential, open space and commercial.
On Aug. 9, 2012 Reese requested approval of an amendment to the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan and a rezone and conditional use permit to construct a 51-unit RV park with a general store and manager’s unit on a five-acre portion of the land located north of the intersection of Bell and Musso roads.
At an Oct. 11, 2012 Planning Commission meeting the project was approved and on Oct. 22, 2012 residents Evin and Dawn McKinney, Ron and Deirdre Conroy and Don and Diane Tomlinson filed an appeal to the Placer County Board of Supervisors citing negative impacts on the scenic corridor, noise and traffic concerns and inconsistency with the Auburn/Bowman Community Plan. They also noted that the 180-day maximum stay rule promotes permanent residency.
Evin McKinney was one of several who took to the podium Tuesday asking the board not to approve the project. McKinney said that the construction of the RV park would be “urban encroachment” and that open space would be lost.
“Instead of open space with trees, they’re going to put a shrub screen which could take 10 years to hide this RV park,” McKinney said.
Also at issue is the movement of the commercial zoning on the land, which would place the development further down the property and closer to the roadway. While some neighbors agreed to the possibility of allowing a smaller version of the RV park to be constructed on the current commercial zoning of the property, McKinney was against any form of it.
“I would not support that. It does not flow with the community,” McKinney said when asked about the park on current zoning.
Another concern for residents was the length of stay for users of the park. Neighbors of the property contend that it would foster permanent residency and that the area could become derelict.
“51 weeks a year, that’s what it really is,” said Deirdre Conroy about the length of stay if RV owners used the 180-day period, left and then returned for another 180-day period. “That’s effectively permanent residency, that’s not a vacation plan.”
Reese said he had reached out to the neighbors to hear their concerns, but was not successful.
“I initially had offered to meet with them. I’ve made several attempts,” he said. “But they never responded back to me.”
District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery proposed a 120-day stay limitation, along with a handful of other requirements, but was voted down by other
members of the board, 4-1. In his response to the discussion of limiting the stay length, District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler said that cutting down the number of days would eliminate a portion of the RV park market. The supervisors then adopted the recommendations by county staff.
“They’re just looking at taxable dollars,” said Garron Kendall about the board’s decision to approve the project.