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Baxter County Planning and Zoning Commission Approves Plans for Luxury RV Park

The Baxter County Planning and Zoning Commission has voted to approve the plans for the Whispering Oaks Luxury RV Park located off Baypoint Drive, Arkansas. 

However, the approval is pending the final permits for water, septic, and engineering. Many concerned citizens attended the meeting to voice their concerns about the proposed park, including increased traffic, stormwater runoff issues, and access to the public use road to the boat dock which has been in use since the 1970s.

Prior to the meeting, the Commission asked property owner Brian Sides to have the appropriate permits in hand for water, septic, and engineering. 

At this time, Sides’ permits are pending approval by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and are now waiting on officials in Little Rock to approve the plans for the project before an engineer starts the work.

The Commission was provided a copy of the perc test in which the state confirms the property will successfully accommodate a septic system.

Sides’ proposal includes gating the RV park and putting in a new road around the edge of his property to connect to the Corps land and boat dock. 

The proposed gates would prevent 4-wheelers and trucks from entering and exiting the RV park. 

Owners of the boat slips are concerned access will be cut off with the gates since the access road is an easement on Sides’ property.

RV spaces have been placed along the current public road to the boat dock, in which Sides said he would like to gate off. 

Baxter County Judge Kevin Litty states he told Sides if he improves the new public access road for boat owners to reach the dock, he would work with him to try to abandon the current public access road, but Sides would need to maintain it. 

The new road is one lane and impassable if oncoming traffic is approaching. Concerned neighbors state drivers would have to reverse all the way to the beginning of the road in order to let the oncoming car pass.In addition, the neighbors expressed concern that if there is a change of ownership, there is no guarantee the road would be maintained since it is public use and not a road maintained by the county.

Litty states public access roads cannot be blocked off until they are abandoned by the County Judge. Litty and the county attorney will be looking into the road issue. 

With the new road being an easement on Sides’ property, he would need to legally deed the land to the county as a public easement. 

Residents in the area expressed concerns the new road would have erosion and washout issues based on the location. They state the road was initially placed where it was on the ridge to help prevent those issues.

At the previous meeting, the Commission asked Sides and resident representative Bill Collins to prepare a compromise regarding the neighborhood concerns. Collins states they did meet but were unable to come to a resolution.

Sides filed an application for the stormwater construction permit with ADEQ on March 8. He presented a document to the Commission stating he paid $200 for the permit application and started the process, but the permit has not been approved and finalized by the state at this time. 

Sides states he is complying with the state by posting a rain gauge and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) on-site until permits are approved and issued. He states he was told he could continue work on the project in the interim.

Litty states he would like to sit down with boat slip owners and Sides to try to reach an agreement both parties can benefit from.

Whispering Oaks Luxury RV Park located on Doe Run at the end of Baypoint Drive currently has 67 sites which are rented for a full year. At the end of the meeting, Collins submitted a formal complaint to  the commission about the issues they see with the project.

The approval of a luxury RV park in Baxter County, Arkansas, highlights the potential challenges and concerns that can arise when developing and operating RV parks

The concerns raised by residents and boat slip owners regarding increased traffic, stormwater runoff issues, and access to public roads and boat docks are not unique to this particular project. 

Many RV parks and campgrounds across the country face similar challenges when trying to expand or improve their facilities.

This sheds light on the importance of responsible and sustainable development practices, as well as the need for communication and collaboration between park owners and the surrounding community. 

RV parks and campgrounds that are able to address and mitigate concerns from local residents and officials are more likely to receive approval and support for their projects, which can ultimately benefit the RV park industry as a whole.

Additionally, this article highlights the importance of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals before starting construction on a new RV park or campground

By following proper procedures and protocols, RV park developers can ensure that their projects are developed in a responsible and sustainable manner, while also minimizing negative impacts on the environment and surrounding communities.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Baxter County Planning and Zoning Commission Approves Plans for Luxury RV Park! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/arkansas/baxter-county-planning-and-zoning-commission-approves-plans-for-luxury-rv-park/