The proposal for a new RV park, Lazy Acres, in Seeley Lake, Montana has recently sparked a divide in the community. The Missoula Consolidated Planning Board has recommended the subdivision to the Missoula County Commissioners, despite concerns raised by some community members.
According to an article by the Missoulian, opponents of the proposed RV park, located south of town, have raised several issues. These include potential traffic impacts, the problem of campfire smoke, and the added strain on the community’s already minimal resources.
Senior planner Tim Worley noted that the addition of the RV park could significantly strain the community’s services, a theme consistently echoed by those opposing the development.
On the other hand, supporters of the project believe that a new RV park in the tourist town would fill a gap in the area. According to Worley, supporters have voiced that the RV park would fill a vital need in the community, as there is currently not much of an RV park presence in the area.
The plan for Lazy Acres calls for three lots with 70 RV spaces on 14 acres of vacant property east of the highway. The land is unzoned, although it’s recommended for general commercial uses.
Some interpretations of the covenants in place would prohibit RV parks, but the Missoula County Commissioners aren’t bound by these covenants. However, these covenants could potentially create issues for the developer even if he receives the Board of County Commissioners’ approval.
Other issues at stake include the operating season of the park, its potential for long-term use, and the type of camping it would allow.
The developer has stated that he would consider opening Lazy Acres up to year-round use in the future, but not initially. As for long-term use, the developer stated, “the whole intention is to be very short-term stays with a constant revolving clientele of just a few nights.”
The park would only allow for RV camping, although future components like miniature golf and playgrounds could be open to public members who aren’t camping at Lazy Acres.
Some on the Planning Board were concerned about water quality impacts on Seeley Lake nearby, but the Montana Department of Environmental Quality reported no concerns with the project, so Planning Board members were satisfied.
The proposal for Lazy Acres RV Park has certainly stirred debate within the Seeley Lake community. With the potential to fill a gap in the area’s tourist offerings, yet concerns about the strain on community resources, the project presents a complex issue for the Missoula County Commissioners to consider.