Ore. City Addresses Camping Worries
Sisters, Ore., city plans to renovate the Creekside Park overnight campground ran up against public concerns about tree removal and changes to accommodate more full-hookup RV sites, the Nugget Newspaper reported.
Several citizens submitted written commentary on plans to cut down trees and criticizing what they perceive as a move that will fundamentally change the nature of the overnight park. Activists opposed to the project indicated Monday that they will seek a public meeting on the subject before the council acts to approve the plan. No council vote has been scheduled yet.
City Manager Andrew Gorayeb presented responses to public comments at a workshop last Thursday (Feb. 20).
There are two phases to the proposed project. Phase I includes removing 18 non-hookup sites and replacing them with 26 full-hookup sites, for a total of 76 sites.
Phase II calls for removing 25 non-hookup sites and replacing them with 24 full-hookup sites for a total of 75 sites.
On Thursday city officials indicated that Phase II is likely a year or more away. Mayor Brad Boyd told The Nugget that staff would evaluate the uses of the park after Phase I is in place to determine what the most common uses are and where and when demand is greatest.
In addition to trees, another key concern is that the park will be built to accommodate RV travelers at the expense of tent and car campers and hikers and cyclists. Specifically there were concerns that unhooked and unplugged campers and families with children would be effectively priced out of the campground.
Gorayeb said that "the plan is for Phase 1 to end up with 51 full hookup/camping sites, 25 non-hookup/camping sites and three hike/bike sites. Phase 2 ends up with 75 full-hookup/camping sites and three hike/bike sites." Additionally, he said, "all sites are available to dry camping at appropriate rates that are attractive to families. Camping on grass should be a better experience than the current condition of mostly dirt. The proposed amenities and upgrades should be attractive to families with children."
While rates will increase, tent or car campers will not be paying full-hookup rates.
Asked to attach rates to the different types of camping, Gorayeb told The Nugget, "We currently charge $15 for non-hookups and we're thinking about taking that up to $20. We currently charge $40 for full hookups; we're thinking about taking it up to $45."
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