According to a report, the Dalles (Oregon) has officially passed an ordinance prohibiting the development of RV parks in residential areas.
This decision, made on January 8, by a 4-1 vote, marks a significant shift in the city’s urban planning and zoning regulations, particularly affecting the RV park and campground industry.
Kaitlyn Cook, senior planner at The Dalles Community Development Department, clarified the scope of the ordinance.
As per Cook, existing RV parks in residential zones will not be affected by this new rule. However, these parks will face limitations on any future expansions. Importantly, the ordinance does not restrict homeowners from parking personal RVs on their property.
The ordinance also introduces new requirements for RV parks. These include mandatory communal restrooms and shower facilities.
In a move to discourage long-term stays, the ordinance prohibits individual sewer connections at RV spaces. Additionally, RVs are now limited to a 30-day stay in one space, although occupants can move to different spaces within the park.
Councilor Rod Runyon, the lone dissenting vote, raised concerns about the notification process for the ordinance change. He noted that while residents in residential areas were informed, those in industrial zones, now permitted to host RV parks, were not. This discrepancy in communication could impact stakeholders like the Port of The Dalles, potentially unaware of the new regulations.
City Manager Matthew Klebes addressed these concerns, stating that the agenda packet, including the ordinance details, was distributed to all partner agencies well in advance. This preemptive measure was intended to provide ample time for review and preparation.
Runyon suggested postponing the decision to allow for input from the port’s representatives, who were absent from the meeting. However, reopening the public hearing for additional feedback would necessitate restarting the entire ordinance process, leading to a significant delay.
Despite these discussions, the council voted in favor of the ordinance. This decision reflects a strategic approach by The Dalles City Council in managing the growth and distribution of RV parks within the city, particularly in residential neighborhoods.
For RV park owners, campground, and outdoor hospitality operators in The Dalles, this ordinance presents both challenges and opportunities. While expansion in residential areas is now off-limits, the clarity provided by the new rules could streamline future planning and development efforts in appropriately zoned areas.
The decision also underscores the importance of staying informed about local regulations and participating in civic processes. RV park owners and operators must now navigate these changes, ensuring compliance while seeking new opportunities for growth and development.
This ordinance is a clear indication of The Dalles’ commitment to balanced urban development. It aims to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods while accommodating the growing demand for outdoor hospitality and recreation facilities in designated areas.
As the RV park and campground industry continues to evolve, The Dalles’ approach offers a blueprint for other cities grappling with similar challenges. It highlights the need for clear, well-communicated policies that balance the interests of residents, businesses, and the broader community.
The Dalles’ new ordinance is a significant development for the RV park and campground industry. It calls for adaptive strategies and proactive engagement with local governance to ensure sustainable growth and success in the outdoor hospitality sector.