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Supervisors OK RV Park for Virginia Lake Site

November 23, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors approved a special use permit Monday (Nov. 22) that allows Sweetwater RV Park to be developed at Smith Mountain Lake near Moneta, Va. The 10-acre campground is slated for a 64-acre parcel near the lake that is owned by Scott and Ida Heath, the Lynchburg News and Advance reported.

The attraction, on White House Road near Virginia 122, is set to include 18 recreational vehicle sites, tent campsites and a store containing a game room, utility room, snack bar and bath house. A recreation area will also offer volleyball, basketball, badminton, horseshoes, kite flying and hiking.

Supervisors also approved rezoning 17 acres of the Heaths’ property to allow the project to move forward. The zoning switches from a combination of low density residential and agricultural residential to entirely agricultural residential.

All supervisors voted in favor of each request after holding two public hearings that drew several speakers, most who opposed the project. They raised concerns with traffic the campground may bring to the area and potential negative impacts on property values they said it could generate.

“Every day I see us losing more and more of the rural character,” said Peggy Johnson, who lives on White House Road and was in opposition. “And that bothers me.”

Charles Harris, a resident of nearby Ayers Road, said his main concern was traffic.

“They’re in a pretty big hurry there,” he said of drivers in the area, particularly in summer at the height of the lake’s popularity. “It’s a pretty dangerous place.”

Eric LaBorie co-owns Camp Karma, a nearby campground in Moneta that just completed its first year of operation. He said the primitive camping nature of his attraction and the RV camping of the Heaths’ site is a “perfect mix” for the lake.

“I am totally in favor,” LaBorie said during the hearing. “It’s going to bring tourist revenue into this area.”

LaBorie said the majority of Camp Karma’s visitors this year were from overflow at Smith Mountain Lake State Park and another campground that were booked to capacity. Most customers were from outside the county, he said.

The Heaths, who also live on the property where the campground will be located, formed a list of park rules that include “quiet hours” between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., a fireworks ban and no public display of alcohol or disorderly conduct.

Scott Heath said Monday the campground hopes to begin operating by mid-2011.

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