Campground Owner Seeks Dual Occupancy Use

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June 23, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

After saying they wanted to clean up campgrounds and resorts turned into permanent housing, the Lake County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors addressed an appeal Tuesday (June 22) by U Wanna Camp.

The board agreed to continue the appeal to Aug. 17 to allow the appellant and her attorney to talk with staff and consider a compromise, according to the Lake County Record-Bee, Lakeport, Calif.

Community Development Director Rick Coel offered a compromise to extend a use permit for three years during which the owner, Teresa Thurman, can phase out permanent residents and clean up the facility for better marketing. A number of board members showed interest in the compromise.

"I don't have a clue what we're going to do here," Supervisor Rob Brown said. "I don't think we can act on it."

In September, the Community Development Department posted a notice of violation at U Wanna Camp at 2699 Scotts Creek Road in Lakeport. In February, the Planning Commission denied Thurman's appeal of the notice of violation. A former owner received a use permit in 1975 that did not authorize long-term use of the campground and expired in 1980. The camp has not had a campground use permit since 1980, nor has it had any permit granting long-term occupancy.

County Senior Planner Kevin Ingram said the site was never permitted for long-term occupancy, a permanent residential site would be inconsistent with the general plan, the area isn't served by public water and sewer and the traffic and fire hazards haven't been studied

Thurman's attorney, Steve Brookes, said because the property had never been cited there was nothing to tell her anything was wrong.

"She tried to play by the rules," Brookes said.

Thurman said she wants to keep the property as an RV park with transient and residential use. With that she's able to prove a safe, drug-free environment that many veterans and people losing their homes in foreclosure take advantage of.

"I don't throw money around like it's nothing," Thurman said. "I intended to buy it as an RV park."

She also said it would be difficult for her to fill the spaces with transient occupants and that residents keep the camp going.

Coel said he thinks a permit with a timeline could give the camp an opportunity to garner the interest of people using off-road vehicles and exploring Cow Mountain. Supervisor Denise Rushing said there are a number of parks in the county that are in violation of permits and residential rules and that the county is addressing those too.

Chairman Anthony Farrington said the owners had a number of opportunities to renew the permit. "The burden shouldn't be on the government," Farrington said. "It should be on the use permit holder to be in compliance."

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