Alabama RV Park Expansion Opposed
A Bay Hill, Ala., developer says the residents there who are posting signs saying, “RVs not welcome here” are forgetting the subdivision is built on the site of a recreational vehicle park.
D.J. Wilson III said he takes issue with the statements read in a public meeting by nine-year Bay Hill resident Fritz Schmidt, which The News Courier, Athens, Ala., reported, about RVs being bad for their community.
Wilson established and opened a 15-lot RV park a year ago and now wants to expand the park. He said the development entails individual lots, each supported by a septic tank, which are being sold and not rented to RV owners.
Schmidt said the 18-foot wide, single ingress and egress Bay Village Drive Road would be clogged by the average 10-foot wide, 30,000-pound RVS, causing a safety hazard should evacuation become necessary.
Schmidt’s comments were in response to Wilson’s request to subdivide two existing lots into 16 lots adjacent to the 15-lot RV park he began selling lots from a year ago.
“The (RV) subdivision is already plotted, platted, sealed and delivered,” said Wilson. “It’s been there a year, and quite honestly, I don’t think it needs to go before the commission.”
County engineer Richard Sanders said Wilson’s request is for a re-plat and county subdivision regulations say each subdivision of property must come before the commission for approval.
The issue was tabled at the Aug. 2 meeting until Monday’s meeting because District 3 Commissioner Bill Latimer, in whose district Bay Hill is located, was out of town on a mission trip.
Schmidt theorized that the heavy RVs would break down the existing roads, which were built by developers and are not county-dedicated roads.
“Most of these RVs are much lighter than the schools buses, garbage trucks and construction trucks that we have already using the road,” said Wilson. “The width is also no different. There is very little traffic on that road. These people are bringing in their RVs to stay. They are using a separate vehicle to go in and out of the park.”
Schmidt further said that two recent appraisals showed “significantly reduced” property values because of the RV park.
Wilson said if appraisals have decreased, it isn’t because of the RV park.
“This economy itself has devalued property,” said Wilson. “If your valuation is only down by 10%, you’re doing good. When everyone moved in while this was either Lucy’s Branch or Bay Hill, it was an RV park. RVs are not new –– they were here first.”
Wilson said many of the former doublewide mobile homes have been replaced by high-end homes and some of those homeowners have RVs parked on their property because they also like to travel.”
Bay Hill RV resident Jay Snyder said he took issue with a statement Schmidt made about non-permanent residents not paying for road upkeep through taxes, a situation he called “unconscionable.”
“I believe that he said that none of us has helped with road upkeep, but we have never been asked,” said Snyder.
“We would have been more than willing to help with our fair share of the roads,” said Wilson.