Long-Term Stays Work Against RV Park Plan
The morning after the city of Forest Grove, Ore., quashed plans for a recreational vehicle park, the phone rang at the local chamber of commerce. The caller was driving an RV to meet friends in Forest Grove and wondered where to stay overnight.
“It’s probably one of our most common tourist-related questions,” said Teri Koerner, executive director of the chamber. Such calls come in at least twice a week and sometimes twice a day, she said.
The closest spot Koerner can refer RV owners to is L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park, 25 miles north of town, according to The Oregonian, Portland.
A plan to build a 21-space RV park in town would have created a closer option. But the city planning commission had too many concerns and voted recently to deny the necessary permit.
“I was really surprised by that decision. And we’re going to appeal it,” said Michael Robinson, who represents property owner Dorothy Royce of Pacific Palisades, Calif. An appeal would come before the city council.
Royce, who also owns the Rose Grove Mobile Home Park in Forest Grove, received approval to build the RV park back in 2005 when she first applied. But the permit expired before Royce got around to constructing the park, so she had to apply again.
Planning commission members were concerned that the RV park could turn into an extension of Royce’s nearby mobile home park.
Robinson said Royce offered to make short-term stays a condition of the permit. In that case, he said, the city could revoke the permit if Royce failed to enforce the agreed-upon time limits.
But City Attorney Chris Crean said the issue is not that clear. City officials say changes in state law make it impossible to enforce short-term stays at the park.
The planning commission’s other concern was related to public safety, said Tom Beck, commission chairman.
Representatives from the nearby Best Western hotel and Doherty Ford testified before the commission about criminal problems with people traveling to and from the mobile home park, Beck said.
Commissioners worried that RV owners might be in danger or that the park might attract the wrong crowd, Beck said.