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Commission OKs RV park

Sheila Gardner

County commissioners approved a special use permit Thursday that paves the way for a 120-space recreational vehicle park at the intersection of Dresslerville Road and State Route 756 in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

The 4-1 decision, with Commissioner Bernie Curtis dissenting, came after the board refused to reconsider a request from the applicant for a master plan amendment for commercial development for an alternative project.

Neighbors were opposed to the RV park request, but commissioners were bound by the old master plan to approve the special use permit because the application by Thomas Abdoo was consistent with Douglas County code that was in effect when the plan first was proposed.

“The staff report says if we deny the special use permit, we’re subject to litigation,” said Commissioner Steve Weissinger. “I don’t want to go that route, either.”

Commissioners told Abdoo to construct a 6-foot masonry screening wall instead of a redwood fence and to limit stays at the RV park to 14 days to avoid a semi-permanent transient population.

“I would like to make sure there are some good, solid teeth in regulating the length of stay for individuals who live there,” said Sheriff Jerry Maple. “We don’t want to end up with permanent low income housing. I don’t think that fits in with the Gardnerville Ranchos.”

Community Development Director Bob Nunes said regulation of the 14-day rule falls to the county code enforcement officer, currently a vacant position.

“It’s very difficult to take physical inventory,” Nunes said. “We don’t particularly come out unless someone complains.”

The RV park is proposed at the site of the now vacant Treehouse nursery, also owned by Abdoo.

The special use permit must be inaugurated within 12 months which means building permits and construction permits must be issued for installation of utilities including water and septic system and initial site grading. If the project is not inaugurated, the special use permit expires.

The recreational vehicle park proposal also includes a swimming pool, clubhouse, showers, horseshoe pits, visitor parking and landscaping.

The permit does not include approval of a convenience market, gasoline or propane sales.

The request for the RV park was continued from last October when Abdoo asked for time to process a master plan amendment and zone change for a commercial development and housing project at the site. That was denied by the planning commission and forwarded to the county commission which voted 3-2 to support the amendment, but failed to get the 4-1 super majority required under the county’s new master plan.

“That’s one of the dangers with a super majority rule,” said District Attorney Scott Doyle.

The master plan amendment and zone change went back to the planning commission which decided to take no action on the reconsideration.