Judge: Arizona Town May Vote on RV Park's Fate

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December 16, 2010 by   - () 1 Comment

A judge has ruled that a petition submitted by a group of Chino Valley, Ariz., residents who oppose the town’s zoning for the High Plains RV Resort, was indeed filed on time to call for a referendum. So it will be decided by voters in the general election coming in May 2011 whether a KOA is good for the community, the Prescott (Ariz) News reported.

The dispute over building the KOA focuses more on the property’s zoning, rather than on the KOA park itself. Opponents are concerned that if the zoning ordinance is allowed, the property owner can change his plans anytime and build whatever he wants. This particular property, however, includes strict provisions of conditional zoning that does not allow that to happen.

“We specifically agreed to the town’s terms of limited-use for a short term RV park only,” confirms Jack Tuls, Chino property owner. “There’s no way we could build any type of heavy-manufacturing facility – or anything else for that matter – even if we wanted to,” insists Tuls. So by law, the land cannot be used for anything other than the planned High Plains RV Resort/KOA park.

“Most people in town realize the facts; I’m truly thankful for that, and am encouraged by their ongoing support of the project,” stated Tuls gratefully. “Nevertheless, a few people still don’t seem to understand my vision and sincerity – let alone the reality that I’m personally investing millions of dollars to build an attractive facility for every citizen in the community!” The project includes clubhouse buildings, extensive landscaping, and additional infrastructure features agreed upon, including their own independent sewer system.

The judge’s ruling considered technical details of how and when the petition itself was filed.

“His decision will delay the groundbreaking, but otherwise shouldn’t really affect how anyone feels about the project,” confirms Charlie Arnold, consultant to KOA. “The signatures on the petition that oppose the park represent only about 3% of Chino Valley’s total population,” Arnold adds, “so we look forward to the election in May when the silent majority can finally speak.”

The public will vote on the project in May during the town council’s general election.

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One Response to “Judge: Arizona Town May Vote on RV Park's Fate”

  1. Candy Blakeslee on December 16th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Interesting statistics! 1900 voters voted in the last election and we turned in over 400 signatures…in a little over 20 days. We had tons of people who wanted to sign that we just could not get to. I think that is over 3%!

    The discussion came up several times that there was no way to prevent the land owner from putting in what ever Commercial Heavy business they wanted to. They even asked our attorney if he could offer language that would prevent them putting in a manufacturing facility…there is no such language with Arizona's land laws.

    Also, the zoning is for a commercial campground. Nothing in this ordinance that requires a KOA campground. This is a small town, miles off of an interstate, with no tourism attractions. Every town, except Prescott, has a KOA closer. Prescott had a KOA and it closed.

    I am glad that they are finally letting the voters decide. P&Z did not listen to the citizens, Mayor Bunker did not listen to the citizens, and now they will have to abide with the results of the vote.

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