On Tuesday, May 8, the Scenic Betterment Committee met to discuss, among other things, the zoning for a new RV park proposed to be built in Scenic, Arizona. Residents of the area are concerned over issues that may arise from the building of the proposed RV park.
The Mojave County Board of Supervisors, Planning and Zoning Commission, at a May 21 meeting, will be evaluating the special use permit request for parcel 40222097 to allow for a Recreational Vehicle Park in an Agricultural/Residential zone in Scenic, south of Las Vegas Way, east of Scenic Boulevard, Arizona Strip area, Mohave County Arizona. In the first week of June, there is another meeting scheduled to approve parcel 40277015B, the area just north of the previously mentioned parcel.
Scenic residents have been circulating a petition to have the zoning for the park denied but there seems some confusion with the residents and the county as to what part of the 69 acres is actually designated for the park.
The particular group of people who attended the meeting on Tuesday night are the residents who wanted more information and Mike Black, owner of the parcel, was present to answer any and all questions. It seemed the major concern was caused by confusion over the exact text/words the county used in the proposal statement to the community.
According to the county paperwork, residents thought that the entire two parcels would be designated for the park but property owner Black, says that only 12 of the 69 acres of property is actually designated for the build; six acres on either side of Scenic Boulevard. The entire proposal is for just the two six acre spots and this is not just a starting phase with other plans for more RV spots in the future.
Black assured the crowd that 12 acres is the maximum acreage for the project, the additional 58 acres is not yet designated for anything specific but it won’t be for RVs. Black stated he would never be able to fill 70 acres with RVs and doesn’t want to try. He also wants to keep the orchard next to the property as is without any plans to destroy it. The parks name will be the Orchard RV Park, keeping the orchard is important to him.
The plans for the first six acre parcel of land, 40222097, were approved by the zoning board in 2011 but economic issues prevented the building of the park at that time. Since the economy is improving, Black thought this a good time to go ahead with the project. The entire project is proposing only 59 RV spots, the same amount of spots that are in the Sun River Resorts RV Park next to Smith’s Grocery, which is also owned by Black.
The concerns from the community are that the park will house transient people, traffic will grow and become an issue and driving RVs into the park will create a traffic block on Scenic Boulevard or Las Vegas Way, depending on where the driveways are located. Black says there is proposed entry/exit on both roads.
The community also feels that more drugs, ATVs and other issues will begin to creep into the area with the additional RV residents. Black says he doesn’t presently have that issue with the residents in the Mesquite Park and careful consideration of those allowed to reside in the park are and will control the issues the residents are concerned about but it’s an RV park, people can stay for a day or up to 364 days, it’s how they run.
As far as transient concerns, Black said the residents of the park are expected to be “Snowbirds,” just like any other one of the many Snowbirds that already populate the area.
Residents also raised concern about not being able to control the off road activity in the area now. They feel the RV Park will just add to the already existing issues with ATV going off the trails and destroying the surrounding desert. Any ATV activity is uncontrollable by park owners but both Black and other residents urge the community members who have issues to contact the BLM with their concerns over the off road vehicles and the damage they are causing to the area presently.
There is a mixed mentality when it comes to reporting concerns in the Arizona Strip. Some feel it’s a waste of time because the county seat is so far away that nobody pays attention. Others feel that they don’t want to draw the attention of authority to their quiet little corner of Arizona. A third group feels if you don’t report issues, nobody is aware they exist. If nobody is aware they exist, they can’t do anything to fix the issue. That third group includes the county authorities and was stated not long ago by Sheriff Don Schuster at a former VRC meeting.
Residents didn’t hold their tongues on this particular issue at the meeting. Both pros and cons were hashed out. One resident felt that the proposed park would only benefit Black and not the community financially. That thought was confirmed by another resident who commented that because Scenic isn’t officially a town, the money collected for property and business taxes go to Kingman and they don’t trickle down to the strip. He also stated that it wouldn’t take much for Scenic to become their own town so they would be able to control their own zoning issues.
Zoning issues are currently handled in Kingman by a board made up of representatives from other parts of Arizona who have no vested interest in the strip area. There is no local representation on the current board. The present area representative lives in or near Kingman and doesn’t answer phone calls. Calls have been going into his office for three weeks that still haven’t been returned.
In any case, the actual way the zoning request is written is what is in question. Most of the community was comforted by the thought that the permit will only allow 12 acres for the build and not the entire 69 acres. There were still some members with the same concerns mentioned earlier in the article but not nearly as many when Black cleared up the misunderstanding.
Black assured the community members that he would contact the Commission the following day to get the proposal reworded. He also assured the residents that he is for improvement; he’s not trying to damage the community, he’s vested here, his family lives here and he’s all for progress in a good way. His current RV park in Mesquite is beautifully built and landscaped, well maintained and adds value to Mesquite, he doesn’t feel that the proposed park will be any different for the Arizona Strip communities.
Some residents are hoping that the zoning board will hold off on a decision for the first six acre proposal until the June meeting and the wording is changed. The community wants an opportunity to voice their concerns to the commission but ultimately the decision to hold off on the approval of the application is up to the Mohave County Board and not the residents.
The petition was available for any additional signatures but there weren’t many who took the opportunity to sign it after the meeting was over. Votes, by a show of hands, for or against the park, were taken before and after the meeting. Many hands went up at the initial vote against the park but only seven hands went up when the vote was taken after the confusion over how much land was cleared up, far less hands than those that went up at the beginning but many residents left before the final vote.