Culver residents oppose RV park plans
Bend-based developer Robert Shannon and his son Riley continue to push for an 80-space RV park in downtown Culver despite objections citizens voiced at a city planning meeting Wednesday, July 7.
"We're trying to provide housing for people and recreation, too," says Riley Shannon. He points to the housing crisis in Central Oregon. He says the available jobs don't pay enough for people to afford housing at today's market prices.
"We'll have monthly renters during the winter," Shannon says, "and only daily renters during the peak season."
The Shannons, doing business as Ridge Development, say the park will provide camping space for campers who want to enjoy Lake Billy Chinook and will increase business for Culver stores and restaurants.
"I don't like it at all," says Rae Ann Romkema, who manages the Culver Market. "It may increase business, but it will also increase traffic and garbage. People are not at home. They just throw stuff everywhere because they don't care."
"I'm sure it would increase business some," says Greg Foland, owner of the Round Butte Inn restaurant. "I think RV parks attract trash, to be honest with you. I'm not for it, especially on the main drag here."
Ridge Development wants to build the park on a 6.48-acre lot on First Avenue just south of the Culver City Hall.
"I'm not against having an RV park in Culver," says Erinn Maher Shaw. "I'm just against the proposed location on main street and right near my home." She suggests a location closer to the industrial side of town, away from the downtown business district, and away from residential neighborhoods.
Shaw worries about the impact to local school enrollment. She wonders whether people living in the park would share in the community tax burden.
The developers promise amenities the community could share, pickle ball courts and a picnic pavilion. They will allow only trailers newer than 10 years old for monthly guests and plan to run criminal background checks on all monthly guests.
Ridge Development built and runs the Mountain View Mobile Home Park on Highway 97 south of Redmond for people age 55 and older and the newer Cottonwood RV Park on Canal Boulevard in Redmond.
The Orchard RV Park in Culver follows the design of the Cottonwood park, except, the younger Shannon says, each space would be larger with more landscaping.
This is the second time Culver has considered a downtown RV park. The commission rejected a similar plan in 2018 for a lot just east of Culver City Hall.
The Culver Planning Commission considers the RV Park plans again Thursday, July 22, at 2:30 p.m. at the Culver City Hall.
The Shannons' offer to purchase the property hinges on the commission's decision.
"If it doesn't happen, we move on," says Shannon. "We're trying to take all the right steps now."
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