Restricted RV Park Park Owner Looks for Other Land Use
Baldwin County commissioners sidestepped action Tuesday (Nov. 15) on rezoning an RV park in Fort Morgan, Ala., when the landowner asked to withdraw his request to allow officials to revamp regulations instead.
Several people living near Fort Morgan RV Park attended the meeting Tuesday to speak against a request to change zoning from residential to B4, which would potentially open the land for large-scale commercial development, the Mobile Press-Register reported.
Owners have operated the two parcels as an RV park since the 1970s, and under current law can keep operating, even though the zoning designation doesn’t reflect the actual use of the land. But the landowner can’t make significant improvements to the park or rebuild if a storm damaged it, according to the regulations currently in place.
Baldwin County Planning and Zoning Director Vince Jackson said the county’s zoning classifications don’t adequately address RV parks, and when voters approved Planning District 25 in 1993, the park’s 4.9 acres were zoned for uses other than the existing business.
Jackson said the park’s owner contacted him on Monday asking to withdraw the rezoning request with the understanding that the county department would be working to change regulations.
“I have included a draft proposed a few years ago,” Jackson told commissioners, to use as a starting point for amendments regarding RV parks in the county. He said the county could choose to create a zoning designation specifically for RV parks, or change the smaller business designation B2 to include them.
Gulf Shores attorney Craig Olmstead — who represents Jason Dyken and Green Book LLC, the owner of the park — told commissioners last week his client could “barely maintain the park under current zoning.” He said developing the land for a large commercial project would be unlikely.
The zoning, however, would allow it, according to county’s current regulations. The Baldwin County Planning and Zoning Commission denied the request to change the designation last month while county staff members favored the change, Jackson said.
Neighbors who opposed the change declined to speak against it in the advertised public hearing once commissioners approved the withdrawal Tuesday.