Claremore Daily Progress

December 11, 2012

County gives go ahead to RV Park

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Concerned citizens and residents living along Highway 20 protested Monday against a proposal to construct a RV Park near their homes.

The issue at hand, a zoning change that would allow for the construction of a 20 acre RV park to be located on the south side of Highway 20 near the office of Quality Home Builders at 9382 Oklahoma 20 in Claremore. 
During Monday’s Rogers County Commissioners’ meeting the group spoke about the traffic, property depreciation, safety, liability and other concerns that could follow the development.
The commissioners unanimously approved the zoning change for the Woodlands RV Park that is to be developed by Brent Knapp.
Knapp along with his attorney Mack Greever, said that Claremore has a need for the RV Park and that it would bring sales tax revenue to the city.
Planning and Zoning Director Larry Curtis outlined the board’s responsibility in great detail as it  reviewed the resident’s opposition.
It is the commissioner’s job to determine if the proposal would be in line with the comprehensive plan, follow guidelines for C4 commercial use and if procedures had been followed, according to Curtis.
The developer and citizens did not see the issue as a black and white point of view.
As the neighbors criticized Knapp’s plan they said, “Put it in your own backyard.” and “It is not a good thing to have in the neighborhood.”
Some even criticized that the park would attract “boy scouts” that would start campfires and stay up to all hours of the night making noise.
Greever’s response was simple, “We think the use is compatible with the comprehensive plan.” 
“I can’t see anything here except that we don’t want it,” commissioner Kirt Thacker said. “It does follow all of the regulations.”
Commissioner Mike Helm brought forth the issue of a planned unit development (PUD) prior to the approval. Helm asked if that would be a way to address the concerns.
Curtis explained that a PUD was not required of Knapp.
Another issue involved the Rogers County Planning and Zoning Board vote to approve the zoning with a restriction attached.
The recommendation was that no RV be allowed to park there for more than six weeks. 
The commissioners quickly determined that the recommendation was made with no legal authority.
The restrictions attempted to address the concern of citizens that the  RV Park would become a “trailer park.”
Citizens felt the park could cause liability or decrease property values.
Knapp responded stating he is the second largest property owner in the area and he would not build anything that would devalue people’s property.
“I think it will be an asset to the area,” Knapp added.
The park will be a family- oriented, nice park, featuring a bath house with showers, coin laundry and a park.
Additionally, the facility would be monitored 24/7 with onsite supervision and a gatehouse for protected entry.
Citizens continued to voice concerns including an increase in area traffic.
“My traffic will not be on the highway during peak hours,” Knapp said.
As the debate continued the zoning change was called “spot zoning” and it was noted that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has yet to approve highway access.
Knapp said he would vacate his existing access at Quality Storage and Rental, a property adjacent to the new RV Park that he owns.
The citizens made numerous objections, however the zoning guidelines were clear and Knapp had met those, according to the commissioners.