HEARINGS OFFICER UPHOLDS COUNTY CITATION AGAINST MOBILE HOME PARK
A hearings officer has ruled in favor of Clatsop County in its dispute with the owner of a mobile home park at Sunset Lake cited for numerous code violations.
In a ruling issued Dec. 16, Hearings Office Paul Elsner ordered Resources Northwest Inc. and Ken Hick, owners of Sunset Lake Resort and RV Park, to pay a fine of $4,200 and abide by rules governing the number and siting of units at the park.
The county issued Hick a compliance order last June for multiple violations of county codes including allowing too many permanent dwellings on the property, as well as allowing recreational vehicles to be used as dwelling units without proper utility connections.
According to the county, the park has contained as many 91 sites used for permanent dwellings, when under the current rules the parks is allowed only 16. Many of the recreational vehicle units are not connected to proper water, sewer or electrical service, and some are releasing “gray water” into Sunset Lake. Many are also sited on spaces smaller than allowed in rules governing RV parks, and/or are too close to the lake or nearby Lewis Avenue.
Hick and Resources Northwest Inc. challenged the county order on the grounds that the park was “grandfathered in” as a legal, nonconforming use and does not have to abide by existing county zoning rules on number, density and location of units and other requirements.
In his ruling, Elsner pointed to letters from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality from 1997 declaring that the park was allowed a maximum of 16 mobile homes and 27 RV sites. The owners produced no evidence of approvals or permits allowing a larger number of units, Elsner said.
Under Elsner’s order, the owners have until Feb. 1, 2012 to reduce the number of units to the approved maximum, have them lawfully connected to water, sewer and electrical systems, and pay all necessary permit fees. Failure to make the changes will result in additional daily fines on top of the $4,200 penalty for each unpermitted site or space.
Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator