Suits Seek to Block Upscale Oklahoma RV Park
Chandra Heitzinger said she thought she was building a home in a secluded area near McLoud, Okla.,, but now she is faced with having to share the quiet countryside with hundreds of transients.
The 36-year-old filed a lawsuit last week in an effort to stop the construction of a $7 million recreational vehicle resort on the outskirts of McLoud, Oklahoma City's The Oklahoman reported.
Heitzinger said she's concerned the resort will fail and turn into an eyesore that will devalue her property. She also is worried it will attract crime or sex offenders to the area.
Heitzinger spearheaded a petition asking city officials to allow residents to decide whether the RV resort should be built. She filed the lawsuit in Pottawatomie County District Court when city officials refused to recognize the petition for a referendum initiative on the November ballot.
"Filing a lawsuit is a drastic measure, but I didn't know what else to do," she said. "I feel like they (city officials) are trying bulldoze the people in this town."
City Attorney Mike Warwick said there is no basis for Heitzinger's lawsuit, because a referendum initiative cannot be called to reverse administrative actions like, in this case, rezoning. The city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit.
Heitzinger is the second person to seek court action against the city concerning the resort. Carl Bright filed a lawsuit in September claiming officials did not properly post signs notifying residents about rezoning the 51 acres for a resort. He alleges the city purposely posted a small sign in a densely wooded area where it could not be seen.
Bright lives in Harrah and owns property in McLoud.
McLoud City Manager Larry Dillon said both lawsuits are frivolous and neither has affected construction of the resort. He said dirt work is under way, and it should be open to visitors by March.
"This is not longtime McLoud residents protesting this," he said.
"It's people that have no reason to do this, other than to stick their noses in other property owners' business."
Heitzinger and about 20 of her neighbors signed the petition, but only two of them live within 300 feet of the RV resort, Dillon said.
The Firekeeper Resort will be at the intersection of Parkwood Road and Deer Creek Road, north of Interstate 40 and west of McLoud Road.
McLoud was chosen for the resort because of its proximity to I-40, Wes Watkins Reservoir and FireLake Grand Casino, said its developer, Bud Surles of Bud Surles' Signature Resorts of Canton, Texas. Surles said the resort will have first-class accommodations with 118 RV slots, a large lodge, a bath house, a swimming pool and other features.
Dillon said the resort should generate about $100,000 annually for the city budget and create 18 jobs. "This is not going to be a trashy, dumpy trailer park."