Members of the Lebanon City Council are not interested in allowing private RV parks within city limits.
The council discussed the issue at its regular session on Wednesday. The issue was on the agenda because of a question asked during the council’s August session. At that time, Ellis Stutzman of Pacific States Realty, representing local property owners, told the council there was interest in creating a park within city limits, but the current codes did not allow it.
Stutzman asked the council to reconsider the ban. Mayor Paul Aziz requested that Walt Wendolowski, the city’s community development director, study the issue and report back to the council at the next session.
In his report Wednesday night, Wendolowski said he surveyed other communities about their approach to RV parks and received limited feedback. Among cities which did allow such parks, a recurring problem was that customers of the parks tended to stay in place.
Even when communities had rules limiting stays to 14 days — which is standard — enforcing these limits is difficult and time-consuming.
“It becomes a residential development, if you will,” he said.
In addition, Wendolowski noted that over time, these parks add to the demands on city services but provide limited revenue to help support those services.
After listening to the staff report, Councilor Jason Bolen said he was not interested in proceeding with a further review of the city’s ordinances on the matter.
Councilor Robert Furlow agreed, saying that without “constant and unrelenting enforcement,” these parks can become eyesores and serve as a drain on resources.
Councilor Bob Elliott said he did not believe a change in the rules was in the city’s best interest.
“I don’t think we need this. Police would have to be much more involved in this,” he said.
Aziz said it was clear there was a consensus, with which he agreed, that the current rules on RV parks should be kept in place.
In other actions during Wednesday’s session:
• The council approved an interfund loan transfer of $400,000 from the Street Improvement SDC fund to the Storm Drain Utility fund. This loan will be repaid over 10 years at the standard local government investment pool rate of 2.25 percent interest. The loan is necessary to complete storm drain improvements related to the water treatment plant project.
• The council approved creation of an ad hoc committee to create an improvement plan for Ralston Park. This committee will include four members of the public who live or work within a four-block radius of the park, one city councilor and two city staff members. The committee’s plan is to be completed by June 2019.
The city also received an update from Jason Cripe regarding the Guitars Under the Stars music festival. Cripe told the council that this year’s event drew 4,000, substantially higher than past years, which drew no more than 1,200.
“We had 1,800 out on Saturday alone,” Cripe said.
Because of the improved attendance, Cripe said the festival will return in 2019. He is currently planning to hold a two-day event on July 26-27, 2019, at Cheadle Lake Park. He said a free show on Thursday, July 25, is still a possibility if a sponsor can be found.