City Council considers new RV park

On Aug. 8, the city council meeting gave way to a scheduled public hearing. This hearing was designed to openly discuss plans that had been brought forward regarding the construction of a new RV park at 25401 Redwood Highway.
The property in question spans over 9 acres of land, and the proposed design is a 61-space RV park with several amenities. These amenities would include a pool, laundry facilities, toilets and showers for residents, and seven yurt-style campsites that would be suitable for “glamping.” This site would serve as an additional area for the area’s yearly summer tourists to stay at, something that has been sorely lacking within the Illinois Valley for quite some time.
Rogue Valley of Council of Governments Land Use Planner Ryan Nolan spoke first, explaining to the council members that this hearing was meant to ensure that the proposal met specific requirements and standards within the city’s municipal code. If they found this to be the case by the end of the hearing, there would be no cause to deny or delay the plans as they had been presented.
While the council members were very much on board with the idea, they soon had a multitude of questions and concerns regarding the design and schedule of the development itself. Councilor Ethan Lane almost immediately wondered about the fire department’s opinion on how safe the propane storage facilities would be, as well as whether or not there would be an alternate entrance for emergency vehicles to take into the park if there should be a fire or other emergency on the premises. Councilor Jean Ann Miles echoed these concerns, adding that she was also worried about the amount of dust in the air if the park were paved after becoming publicly accessible. She also wished that photographs of potential landscaping ideas had been provided. Mayor Martell and Councilor Jesse Dugas agreed with these sentiments, with Dugas adding that he believed the place should be paved sooner rather than later.
I.V. Fire District Chief John Holmes assuaged some of the council’s concerns, stating that he knew the egress for the area wasn’t wide enough, and that options for alternative access points were being explored. He also added that while he didn’t necessarily have an answer for their concerns surrounding propane storage, he was looking at placing some fire hydrants in the area.
When the applicants were finally given the floor, with Brian Westerhaut of Ron Grimes Architects speaking on behalf of the property owners, they attempted to mitigate the remaining worries in several ways. As far as the dust concern, Westerhaut mentioned that in lieu of paving the area, a “dust treatment” made of decomposed granite and magnesium could be applied in the interim. Regarding alternate access, he reiterated that potential routes were being explored. He explained that the applicants could ready a “phase schedule” within the next week that would more thoroughly lay their plans for the property out in a step-by-step fashion. When asked if this phase schedule already existed, the answer was “not yet.”
Given the fact that there were still several concerns and questions that the petitioners could not readily answer, the council opted to give them more time to prepare the aforementioned phase schedule and anything else that could aid in decreasing their concerns. A continuation hearing was unanimously set for Aug. 22, the date of the next city council hearing.