Carroll could allow RV parks

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Public hearing on ordinance change set for Oct. 12

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Carroll officials are preparing to make revisions to the subdivision ordinance to allow recreational vehicle developments, but they do not believe that the proposed RV resort along the New River Trail will proceed.
The Carroll Board of Supervisors and Carroll Planning Commission have scheduled a joint public hearing for Oct. 12 to get comments on a few changes to the subdivision ordinance, which is intended to control residential growth in the county.
The most significant change is the addition of a new section to govern recreational vehicle developments. This comes after Morris International approached the planning commission seeking a lot size variance to build Chestnut Creek RV Estates in the Gambetta section of the county.
The proposal has 30 spots for luxury recreational vehicles, a store, guest cabins, park, picnic pavilion, equestrian barn and pasture in two phases next to the Virginia's popular linear state park.
Along with shrinking the minimum lot size requirement in a Class B subdivision to 2.5 acres and allowing private roads to serve clustered developments, the proposal defines recreational vehicle parks and sets the requirements for them.
It would allow the county's planning administrator to "approve a subdivision plan which reduces the minimum lot size ... in order to cluster individual lots for sale as part of a development designed for the temporary occupancy of recreational vehicles, provided that sufficient open spaces is preserved."
The proposal would require all lots in an RV development to be served by either private or public water and sewer systems and streets with a 40-foot right of way.
Included in the requirements are specifications for construction of the road, the depth and materials for the roadbed and the width of it.
Developers would have to disclose the particulars of the road and right of way and whose responsibility it is to maintain the road.
Requirements, if approved, call for a minimum of 25 feet frontage for each RV lot on the street that serves it.
Density of the development would be limited to no more than five lots or five recreational vehicles per acre, the proposal states.
The amendment also specifies that a minimum of 15 percent of the total acreage of the development should remain open space or facilities for use by all occupants of the RV park, such as swimming pools, walking paths or tennis courts.
The public hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.
(The supervisors have rescheduled their meeting from the second Monday of the month to that Tuesday.)
Ronald Newman, Carroll's planning official, acknowledges that Morris International will no longer seek to build its RV resort next to the New River Trail State Park.
"We did receive a copy of a letter that they sent to their attorney that they did not intend to pursue this project in Carroll County," Newman told The Gazette.
The reason the company gave is that they did not receive the necessary approvals within their timeline for the development.
Carroll County still needs to have standards for future RV park proposals, though, he added.
For the addition of allowing private roads into clustering developments, this would allow these subdivisions to be gated communities, Newman explained.
These changes and additions will go into effect if approved by both the planning commission and the board of supervisors.