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Oregon RV Park Foes Speak at Hearing

May 14, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Should Linn County, Ore., be allowed to develop a park on land zoned for exclusive farm use?
More than a year after the issue first came before the Linn County Planning Commission, concerned residents — along with the county parks department — still don’t have an answer, according to the Albany Democrat-Herald.
The commission heard comments from the public Tuesday night (May 12). It decided to hold off on a decision until its June 9 meeting.
About 50 people turned out for Tuesday’s meeting and more than 20 spoke to the commission. Most were against the park.
The county parks department is seeking a conditional use permit to develop a day-use and RV park on a 175-acre property the county bought in 2007, currently zoned for exclusive farm use.
Tangent farmer Dean Schrock described the park land purchase and plan to develop it as the “biggest boondoggle I’ve ever seen.” He would like to see the county sell the land.
Pete Boucot of Lebanon, who unsuccessfully ran against Roger Nyquist for county commissioner last fall, said the commissioners didn’t do their homework when purchasing the property.
He said that not only did the county overpay for the land — $1.25 million — but all a new park would do is put the Blue Ox RV Park and the Albany KOA campground out of business.
Michael Greig, who with his wife, Priscilla, owns and manages the Albany KOA, agreed, as did Blue Ox owners Harold and Dona Bates.
“We cannot compete with government enterprise,” Harold Bates said. “If this goes in, we go bankrupt.”
The meeting had been delayed for more than a year as county departments collected information on drainage, traffic and agricultural conflict issues.
Roadmaster Darrin Lane explained how conditions of the permit would specifically prohibit adversely impacting water drainage, a concern of some of the farmers in the area.
The county commissioned two traffic studies and has worked with Oregon of Transportation to determine a traffic signal at Highway 34 and Seven Mile Lane would be the best solution if an RV park were built there.
Parks director Brian Carroll said a vegetative buffer would help screen light and noise between the park and its neighbors. Responding to concerns, he said the department would not prevent farming practices nearby.

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