County sued by RV park
October 1, 2001
The owners of an RV park on Highway 395 near Indian Hills have sued Douglas County commissioners after being denied a zoning change request.
Superior Campgrounds of America, owners of Silver City RV Park, filed the suit Monday in Douglas County District Court.
The suit asks the court to reverse an Aug. 2 decision by commissioners that denied park owners their request for a zone change to Douglas County’s master plan.
The suit alleges the commission’s denial of a master plan amendment request to change zoning at the park from private recreation to tourist commercial has prevented the company from getting financing for improvements and expansion of the facility.
Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle said he has not reviewed the suit.
The RV park is located on the east side of Highway 395 south of Plymouth Drive near Indian Hills.
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At the Aug. 2 meeting, commissioners rejected the zone change request by a 3-2 vote.
Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen argued the park was not a conforming use to the area, and allowing a special-use permit at the facility was a mistake.
Commissioner Steve Weissinger argued the zone change, that would allow gaming, is not conducive to the area.
Also voting against the zone change was commission chairman Bernie Curtis. Voting for the zone change were commissioners Kelly Kite and Don Miner.
Silver City RV park opened in 1983. The 19-acre park contains 206 RV spots, a convenience store and gas pumps. Since it opened, owners have invested $5 million in upgrades, the suit said.
In 1996, the county adopted its master plan development code and gave the property a designation of forest and range land. Based on that zoning, the RV park was not allowed, but continued to operate.
In 1999, owners sought a land-use classification and zone change to commercial and tourist commercial. Instead, commissioners zoned the property private recreation, a designation commonly held by golf courses.
Attorneys argue the current zoning of private recreation doesn’t allow for convenience stores and the sale of gas, but that the uses have been “allowed since 1983 with Douglas County’s knowledge and consent.”
In February, Silver City applied for a master plan amendment and zone change asking to change the designation from private recreation to commercial and the zoning from private recreation to tourist commercial.
On June 12, the Douglas County Planning Commission voted 4-1 in favor of the zone change.
The suit contends a memo from the Community Development Department surfaced at the Aug. 2 meeting that said the property can function with its commercial uses under a special use permit.
However, lawyers for the park owners say the community development department has been “unable to provide” their client “with any written evidence or record of a SUP.”
The suit argues the actions taken by the commission are contrary to evidence of record, commissioners were “in excess of all lawful authority,” and their decision was “not based upon substantial evidence.”
The suit states the county violated the park owners’ constitutional rights and the county has put undue harm on the park by imposing requirements.
A court date has not been set.
n Staff writer Jeff Munson can be reached at email@example.com