Carroll working with RV resort developer

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Planning officials in Carroll continue to work with a luxury RV resort development next to the New River Trail State Park.
Chestnut Creek RV Estates' request for a lot size variance came before the Carroll planning commission July 15, and the commission discussed the matter for about 30 minutes, according to Ronald Newman, assistant county administrator.

The request for development does not fit into the pattern of traditional residential subdivisions, so a variance from the minimum lot sizes that cover either Class A or Class B subdivisions may not be the best idea, the officials discussed. The 30-spot recreational vehicle resort may better match the clustering provisions under the subdivision ordinance.
"We're looking at it as a possible cluster subdivision," Newman noted after the meeting. "On the surface, it looks like it would qualify on that provision."
A Charlotte company, Morris International, has pitched the idea for the luxury resort off Gambetta Road, complete with a store, guest cabins, park, picnic pavilion, equestrian barn and pasture in two phases, next to the state's popular linear trail.
It didn't look like the proposal could qualify for the minimum lot size variance leading up to the meeting, but that led to the discussion of the new idea.
During the meeting, officials also brought up another provision that they might need to work on — the idea that the RV resort would be a gated community, Newman said. Clustering is allowed, but the county ordinance states that the roads need to be public.
That language doesn't seem to go with the idea of a gated community, but Newman noted the company can ask for a variance on that. A public hearing would need to be held on the question.
Attorney Tim Tolbert is helping Morris International work with the planning commission. He attended the July 15 meeting.
The 30 RV spots on about 32 acres, limited to the most elaborate and expensive kinds of recreational vehicles, is unique for Carroll County, Tolbert said. Having heard the company's plans, he expects the RV resort will need employees and wants to hire local contractors to carry out development work.
This should also lead to more spending by the RV occupants for supplies like groceries and gas, he said. That will led to other positive economic effects.
"There's quite a bit of traffic on the New River Trail and there's nothing like that along the trail," Tolbert said.
Morris International's website has a video that shows company proprietor Sid Morris parked on the undeveloped Chestnut Creek site.
"This is one of the most special places I've found to park a luxury RV," he says on video. "It's nature at it's finest — I don't think there's another RV resort in America that can challenge it."
Developers are now taking reservations for phase one of Chestnut Creek, limiting this round to only 10 of the 30 planned lots.