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Legal Battle Over Spartanburg County RV Park Intensifies with New Filings

The legal battle surrounding a proposed RV park in northern Spartanburg County, South Carolina has escalated, with both sides filing suits against each other in the dispute. 

On April 25, RV park developer Blue Sky Associates filed a defamation lawsuit against four homeowner groups and “concerned citizens” in the Spartanburg County Court of Common Pleas. 

The developer is seeking unspecified actual and punitive damages, citing “injury to reputation, both personal and professional; embarrassment; humiliation; mental and emotional suffering; lost income,” and mounting legal fees from fighting continued “meritless challenges.”

Blue Sky Associates plans to construct a 49-space RV Park called T. Tree Farms on a 38.68-acre non-zoned site at 1970 Landrum Mill Road in rural northern Spartanburg County. 

The site is surrounded by properties of the homeowner groups, which include roughly 5,000 acres of land with conservation covenants and easements. More than 1,400 acres are under formal conservation easements with two land trusts, Upstate Forever and Conserving Carolina.

Three days after the defamation suit was filed, on April 28, four homeowner groups and five residents filed an appeal of the Spartanburg County Planning Commission’s March 7 conditional approval of the RV park. 

They claim the approval “violates the county’s Unified Land Management Ordinance (ULMO).” The appeal, filed in the Spartanburg Court of Common Pleas, asks that the court require the Planning Commission to reconsider Blue Sky’s site plan.

According to the appeal, the county’s ULMO requires each RV park site to be serviced by a sewer or other system approved by DHEC (the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control). Opponents claim the septic system contained in Blue Sky’s plan and approved by DHEC staff was rejected by the DHEC board as “inadequate,” having only half the capacity required for the development.

Ever since the RV park was first proposed more than two years ago, residents have been involved in a fight to stop it. 

They argue that the roads are too narrow and winding to accommodate large RVs, runoff from the site could pollute area streams, and county planners have ignored calls for public hearings.

Last month, the Southern Environmental Law Center also appealed the Planning Commission’s March 7 conditional approval, claiming it “violates the county’s ULMO by harming an ecologically sensitive forest, clean water and a rare and threatened species — the Dwarf Flowered Heartleaf.”

In a recent statement, Carl Muller, attorney for the homeowner groups, declined to comment on the defamation suit filed by Blue Sky, saying, “We just received it and are looking at it.” 

On the other hand, Blue Sky attorney Bill Young of Greenville stated that his client has followed all county regulations during its approval process and that opponents have made false statements that have harmed Blue Sky in delaying construction. 

“When mistruths and lies are stated over and over again, there have to be consequences,” Young said. 

“We intend to make them face consequences at this point. If the shoe was on the other foot, I’m certain they would be saying you can’t tell me what to do with my own property,” Young added.

For RV park owners and operators, this ongoing legal battle in Spartanburg County highlights the challenges they may face when attempting to develop new parks. 

They must navigate complex zoning regulations, address public concerns, and potentially face litigation from opponents. 

In turn, homeowners and residents must weigh the potential economic benefits of an RV park against the impact on their property values, community character, and local resources.

This news article emphasizes the importance of communication and cooperation between RV park developers and local communities. 

By addressing concerns, engaging in open dialogue, and working together, both parties can strive for a resolution that balances economic development with preserving the unique character of their community.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Legal Battle Over Spartanburg County RV Park Intensifies with New Filings! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/south-carolina/legal-battle-over-spartanburg-county-rv-park-intensifies-with-new-filings/