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Early Plan For Jefferson Street-Loop 301 RV Resort Receives P&Z, ZBA Approval

An early plan for a RV resort received approval from Sulphur Springs Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this week, then was forwarded to the Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals, which also approved the early project concept. The Planning and Zoning Commission also approved a Weaver Drive rezoning request this week.

RV Resort

Cole Heitman applied to the city for a special use permit for property on Jefferson Street, which he is purchasing from owners Donald and Barbara McKinneerney, for construction and operation of a RV Resort on a 48.476-acre site.

Location for the proposed Ladera RV Resort

The RV resort, as proposed, is expected to distinguish itself with a number of guest amenities. The facility would have a welcome center, pavilion, retention pond to manage storm-water runoff that will be surrounded by a walking track, pool and splash pad, playgrounds, cabins, laundry and washroom facility made from reconfigured rectangular containers (if they meet standards), a dog park, general store, free WiFi with a reservation, and RV and trailer storage.

The project, called Ladera RV Resort & Cabins, would be constructed in two phases, with the real estate purchase, construction of 60 slips on the west side of the property, all underground utility work, welcome center and laundry and bath facilities in phase 1. Then, phase 2 would include the remaining 40 slips and resort/splash pad, additional landscaping, firepits and lounge pits.

the second beginning after the property reaches an occupancy of 40, Heitman said. The facility at capacity would have 100 sites with electrical hookups, sewer and water. Each RV site is planned to be at least 35 foot x 65 foot with a 16 foot x 50 foot concrete pad.

While the current address for the property is 1196 Jefferson Street, this is expected to change to Loop 301 as the property begins west of homes just off the Jefferson Street-Loop 301 intersection. The property then spans backward and wraps around the back and one side of the Paris Junior College-Sulphur Springs campus property, where the entrance is planned. An emergency only exit is expected to be designated on Jefferson Street.

The property abuts 9 residences to the south and has vacant pasture to the west of the property. North of the property is a railroad track and the Martin Marietta Ready Mix Concrete plant is just north of the railroad tracks. To the east there is a single family residence, and Paris Junior College. Based on the future land use map, it is anticipated that Jefferson and Loop 301 will develop commercially in the future, Sulphur Springs Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski noted when discussing the request with the Zoning Board of Adjustments Tuesday evening.

A 6 1/2 foot tall masonry fence will shield the park from adjoining residences and structures at the property line. While there are no special standards for the types of uses identified in zoning ordinances and it’s not technically a trailer park, City Ordinances do regulate house trailers and trailer parks, so a couple of site design standards may apply. That includes a 34 foot by 50 foot lot size for each trailer space as well as a five foot fence around the sides and rear of trailer park properties, according to city staff.

Multiple stacked containers, designed to be ADA compliant, will be incorporated around the resort Women’s and Men’s public facilities will be housed in 40-foot renovated shipping containers with the lower container housing the bath house facilities, and an upper container housing a fitness center, and yet another container housing a laundry facility.

Since the project is in the concept phase, Heitman has applied for a special use permit, which would allow for construction in the the zoning district provided the project use is deemed by city standards to be compatible or consistent with adjacent uses and won’t create negative impacts to the surrounding area. No engineering has yet to be completed. Heitman simply requested the permit before proceeding past the 25-page operations plan submitted with the application. Engineering will need to be determined to have adequate utilities and access, and will be reviewed to the satisfaction of the city engineering, utilities and fire departments. The plan is to utilize a 27-inch sewer line north of the property, which will require boring under a railroad track.

The facility will have established rules and policies, RV standards and guidelines for management, including quiet hours of 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily, operational hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, check-in and check-out times, visitors, boats and trailers, alcohol, swimming, parking, fires and firewood, washing of vehicles, laundry, insurance, recycling, pets, speed limit, conduct and ejection from the RV resort, tarps, tents, shade and other structures. Each slip will have a fire pit. They are planning for a fountain pond stocked with catch and release fishing, a food band beverage bar and pavilion, grand event pavilion with an outdoor fire and barbecue pit, golf cart and bicycle rentals, landscape design, cable TV access, on-site propane, an off-leash fenced dog park, onsite manager,

Notices were sent to 24 owners of property within 200 feet of 1196 Jefferson St. notifying them of the proposal and hearings. They received three responses in favor of, one response opposed to and one response undecided for the RV resort proposal. The property owner opposed to the idea did not comment in the provided space a reason for the opposition.

Cole Heitman presents to the Sulphur Springs Zoning Board of Adjustments his proposal for Ladera RV Resort, LLC, a modern boutique RV park planned just off Jefferson Street in Sulphur Springs.

One property owner in favor of the project expressed a desire to see the east side developed as nicely as the rest of town, but not for it to impact the classification of her residential property.

Another nearby property owner indicated favor for the request, provided the city planning and zoning boards make sure the operation is a reputable one that is required to have a permanent fence to separate it from adjacent properties.

The undecided response asked whether the facility would meet setback requirements and potential impact on the sewer system if they were to tap into the Jefferson Street sewer.

During presentations to the ZBA Tuesday evening it was stated that the modern boutique park would used the outside perimeter for phase 1, would enforce quiet hours, have lighting at camp sites that would not be nearly as intrusive to nearby homes as say the bright lights installed on utility poles at say a car dealership, RVs will have to meet Department of Transportation regulations and in good condition. Plenty of green spaces and privacy hedges are planned, with cabins installed on site in rustic modern style.

“Based on the submittal information by the applicant for the operations plan, it appears that they have provided very detailed information about the operation of the resort. Staff is comfortable that if the applicant is able to provide all of the amenities listed and follow the operations plan, that many issues can be mitigated. Being a special use permit, if
there are problems with the development, it could be subject to review and be revoked in the future,” Niewiadomski told the ZBA Tuesday.

The recommendation for approval of the special use permit for the proposed RV resort was made by city staff then Monday by the Planning and Zoning Commission, provided three conditions are met:

  1. The items listed in the Special Use Permit Submittal for Ladera RV Resort & Cabins be adhered to or could be subject revocation of their special use permit.
  2. The site utilities and access need to be verified for adequacy of development and engineered to meet City development specifications and be approved by the City Engineer, Utilities Department, Fire Department and/or City
    Council if deemed necessary for public utility extensions.
  3. If modifications to the design concept are changed after engineering the site, it will be subject to review and approval for a Special use permit modification.

If, after the utilities evaluation changes are required, if the design concept changes, or other significant factors in the proposal change, the business would then have to apply again to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals for consideration.

The ZBA approved the special use permit for the proposed RV resort off Jefferson Street, conditional on all three of the terms recommended by city staff are met.

Paulino Reyes requested for the zoning of lot 3R-3 at 125 Weaver Drive (above in yellow) to be changed from heavy industrial to multifamily.

Weaver Drive Zoning Request

On Monday, the Planning and Zoning Commission also approved a request by Paulino Reyes to rezone a 1.89-acre property at 125 Weaver Drive from heavy industrial to multifamily, to better accommodate residential development on the lot.

City staff sent out 16 certified letter to property owners within 200 feet of the address, which is one of three lots, one that is 0.58 acre and a second that is 0.73 acre. The third lot, which Reyes is asking to change, is 1.89 acre. The city received no responses to the notification of the requested zoning change and of the July 19 meeting.

Zoning in the surrounding properties is mixed of light industrial and heavy commercial to the south and heavy industrial to the north, west and east. There’s a church to the west of the property, residential to the south and east, and a museum to the north.

According to city staff, changing the zoning to multifamily would be appropriate and fit the the land use plan of residential along properties along Weaver Drive.

The P&Z approved the zoning request to change lot 3R-3 from heavy industrial to multifamily.


Author: Faith Huffman

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