Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clatsop Board Of Commissioners Uphold Citation Against Sunset Lake RV Park

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012
Clatsop County Community Relations

The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday upheld a citation issued against the owner of a mobile home park for multiple county code violations.

The board voted unanimously to deny an appeal by Ken Hick and Resources Northwest Inc., owners of the Sunset Lake Resort and RV Park, filed against an order issued in December by a county hearings officer regarding number and location of dwelling units on the property.

The county Planning Division began enforcement action against the park in 2010 in response to a petition signed by 60 neighboring residents. Following investigations by planning and building codes staff, the office issued a citation in June 2011 for numerous violations, including too many dwelling sites for both manufactured homes and recreational vehicles, sites located too close together and too close to adjacent Sunset Lake, and RVs used as permanent dwellings without lawful hook-ups to electrical, water and sewer service. Gray water was also being released into the lake from some sites, according to the citation.

As many as 90 mobile home and RV units have been located at the park.

Hick appealed the citation on the grounds that the current use at the park predates current zoning regulations and is “grandfathered in” as a pre-existing use.

Hick’s appeal was heard by Hearings Officer Paul Elsner in October. In December Elsner rejected Hick’s argument and upheld the county order, and ruled that the park is allowed a maximum of 16 mobile home and 27 RV sites. Hick was fined $100 for each unit in excess of the allowed maximum, or $4,200, and required to bring the remaining sites up to code and pay all necessary permit fees by Feb. 1.

On Wednesday the board had the option of conducting its own hearing on Hick’s appeal. Instead it voted to uphold the hearings officer ruling based on the existing record, which totaled more than 800 pages.

Commissioner Patricia Roberts, whose district includes Sunset Lake, told the board Wednesday that the RV park has been a source of “constant complaints” from citizens and that the issue had had a “fair and thorough review.” She asked that residents displaced from the park be referred to Clatsop Community Action, the Clatsop County Housing Authority and Northwest Housing Authority for assistance finding new housing opportunities.

Commissioner Dirk Rohne said while he felt bad for the park’s residents, he pointed to a letter from Warrenton Fire Chief Ted Ames pointing to the fire danger in the park’s overcrowded spaces.

Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 338-3622

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