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Wall-to-wall residents fill tiny town's Planning Commission hearing to oppose park's downtown location

PAT KRUIS/MADRAS PIONEER - Culver residents fill the Planning Commission hearing to oppose an RV park locating on First Avenue, Culver's downtown commercial district. Commissioners rejected the proposal.

Dozens of Culver residents showed up Thursday afternoon, July 22, to oppose an RV park locating on their town's "main drag."

"Land in the middle of town could be better used," said real estate agent Danny Zook.

And the Culver Planning Commission agrees.

After heated testimony over the course of two meetings, along with a thick stack of letters, commissioners voted four to zero that the RV park is not consistent with the city's Comprehensive Plan.

Developer Robert Shannon originally proposed an 80-space RV park on a 6.48-acre lot on First Avenue just south of Culver City Hall.

At the meeting, Shannon offered to reduce the number of spaces from 80 to 65 to decrease density at the park. He also offered to do criminal background checks on all park users, both daily and monthly clients.

Still, those against the location of the park won the argument.

"It seems the residential nature of the RV park doesn't fit with the commercial nature of the comprehensive plan," said Planning Commissioner Dave Beck.

"Use of this for an RV park is not in compliance with the comprehensive plan to reserve this property for future commercial use," said Planning Commissioner Linda Victorine.

Commissioners voted to adopt the planning staff report which says, "The vision for the subject property is to be a commercial center and downtown core for the city."VIA GOOGLE MAPS - Planners say this land is designated as a 'commercial center and downtown core' of Culver.

Shannon understands residents' concerns. 'I'm not going to appeal this decision. I will keep looking in Culver."

Under the name Ridge Development, Shannon and his sons Riley and Casey operate two parks, the Mt. View Mobile Home Park south of Redmond and the Cottonwood RV Park in north Redmond.

They see the need for more parks like these.

"Try to get a reservation at an RV park in Central Oregon and you'll know what the need is," said Shannon. "They're full. Go anywhere and they're absolutely full."

In addition to recreation, Ridge Development provides monthly rentals at their properties.

"It's affordable housing in Central Oregon," said Shannon, "another thing we're really needing badly."

Several residents supported locating an RV Park somewhere else in Culver. The Shannons are looking.

"There's no zone in Culver that would allow an RV park," said Shannon, "and that's untrue of every other community in Central Oregon."

Commission Chair Bill Perks closed the meeting thanking people for their vested interest in the future of Culver.

"I appreciate everyone's participation in the government of this community," said Perks.

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