City Limits RV Intrusion into ELS Park in Arizona
How negotiations can change minds was reflected in a rather contentious case in Peoria, Ariz.
A few months ago, many residents of Casa Del Sol West, a manufactured-home senior community near 91st and Peoria avenues, were angry with owner Equity LifeStyle Properties Inc. They didn't want the owner to allow recreational vehicles without a permit on the 1970s property, the Arizona Republic reported.
Earlier this month, after about four months of talks, most residents were OK with sharing space with more than two dozen RVs. But they had two conditions: The age-restrictions would remain and no area could be converted to an RV park.
The Peoria Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved Equity's permit request.
"It's nice to sit here and see you've worked in trying to bring the community together," Commission member Leigh Strickman told Rod Jarvis, the attorney representing the owner.
"It was a good compromise," said Roxanne Schiffbauer Sposato, board president of the community's residents' association.
Equity had violated city code by allowing RVs without a required city permit. It applied retroactively for the permit.
Under the zoning standards when the community was built, RVs are allowed for up to 15% of the total spaces allocated. In Casa Del Sol West, the owner requested use in 12% of the lots, which would be 29 spaces.
As part of the conditional permit, Peoria has stipulated that a minimum lease of 30 days be entered into, to mitigate the generally transient nature of RV owners and provide some stability to the community, Robert Gubser, a senior planner, told the planning commission.
Residents had concerns that the RVs would be crowded in one area if they were limited to a specific part of the community and the owner could turn that area into an RV park.
The permit agreement calls for RVs to be spread throughout the community and prohibits the management from changing its policy that Casa Del Sol West is a community for seniors.
The owner also promised other community upgrades such as street repairs, a refurbished kitchen, new furniture and a new flat-screen television in the lounge area.
Sposato said a majority of the approximately 300 residents were in favor. About 20 people were opposed to the application.
She said getting the owners to agree to street repairs and upgrades to the clubhouse was a big factor in the compromise.