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Change in code helps RV park cause

Developer Stan Olsen narrowly garnered county approval Tuesday for a land development code amendment that may pave the way for him to build a 400-space RV park near his amphitheater off Rock Crusher Road.

County commissioners, in a 3-2 vote, approved an amendment allowing recreational vehicle parks in recreational districts of 8 acres or more.

Opposing the change were Commissioners Vicki Phillips and Gary Bartell, who said they could not convince themselves that the amendment was a prudent step.

Olsen still has to go through scrutiny from the state's Department of Community Affairs before building can begin. The department has the power to object to the commission's decision.

In explaining why she did not support the amendment, Phillips said: "This is in the middle of a residential area. You can't call this anything but commercial."

Bartell said written comments from the DCA lead him to doubt that the agency will approve the change.

Bartell said he has thought thoroughly over the question of whether the RVs are a "compatible use."

Others appeared satisfied.

Commission Chairman Brad Thorpe said the county staff had adequately addressed his questions.

The amendment affects more than Olsen's property. Seven other parcels in the county zoned as recreational districts are larger than 8 acres. If the change is finalized, owners of land zoned as recreational would have to go before the county's planning board to secure approval for an RV park.