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New, Expanding RV Parks Present A Challenge In Oregon County

Deschutes County Commission began looking at alternative housing options, such as RV parks, in an effort to alleviate the county’s shortage of affordable housing, a report said.

It is believed that it is more affordable than an apartment or standard home and could be used to stabilize those who are otherwise living in the woods or on the streets.

However, county staff analysis shows that creating RV sites in rural areas of the county is easier said than done.

A recent analysis found that even expanding an RV park can be difficult.

According to Peter Gutowsky (the county’s planning manager), the barriers are rooted in the problems within the state land-use system.

Gutowsky stated that the biggest obstacle to RV parks being built in rural areas of the county is the fact that they are considered urban uses. Gutowsky is the commissioner.

To be able to build an RV park in an area not considered “urban”, anyone who wants to set up a new one or expand an existing one will need to apply for an exemption from the state. This can take extra time and cost more.

Gutowsky also said that there are other barriers. A number of RV parks in Deschutes County have very shallow groundwater. To obtain a water permit, they would need to submit a hydrologic study. The owner of an RV park would have to update the entire park to meet modern standards if it expands. This could prove costly for those sites that were not built according to current codes.

According to county records, existing campgrounds and mobile homes parks face similar problems. In the rural area of the county, there have not been any new mobile home parks or campgrounds built in the past 40 years.

Gutowksy stated that if a campground is used for long-term purposes instead of tourism, it would be considered a city use and would require the same type of exception.

The commission hopes to influence change through the state Legislature.

Staff from counties recommended that the commission advocate for a change to allow RV parks to expand without needing to apply to the state.

The commission is also interested to see if any RV parks located in rural residential are interested in providing emergency housing for those who require it. House Bill 2006, a recently passed law allows for emergency shelter to be built in this specific zone.

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April 19, 2024 4:18 pm

Whoa, guess what’s up in Deschutes County? RV parks are getting a makeover with eco-friendly vibes to help Mother Nature and make ’em super sustainable. Plus, teaming up for a smoother rural park setup sounds like a solid plan!

Robert Lewis
Robert Lewis
April 29, 2024 12:48 am

I reckon delving into fresh ideas like green infrastructure and smart water solutions could really help spruce up those RV parks in rural Oregon County. Collaborating with private backers or trying out new funding methods might just be the ticket to finally bust through those financial roadblocks.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: New, Expanding RV Parks Present A Challenge In Oregon County! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/oregon/new-expanding-rv-parks-present-a-challenge-in-oregon-county/