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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Hearings Officer Revises Ruling On Sunset RV Park
Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
A Clatsop County hearings officer whose ruling against an RV and mobile home park owner was challenged at the state level has prepared a revised order.
The order, issued Sept. 21 by Hearings Office Paul Elsner, will allow the owner, Ken Hick and Resources Northwest, to maintain up to 75 permanent and short-term spaces on the roughly 4.4-acre site at Sunset Lake.
In December 2011 Elsner upheld a citation issued earlier that year against Hick by the county Community Development Department. The citation listed numerous code violations on the property, 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.
Clatsop County began enforcement action against the property in 2010 in response to a petition signed by 60 neighboring property owners. Information indicated that the park contained 90 or more mobile home and RV units.
Hick appealed the county citation on the grounds that the level of use at the park predated current zoning regulations and was “grandfathered in” as a pre-existing use. Following a hearing, Elsner upheld the citation and ordered Hick to reduce the number of dwellings at the park to 16 mobile homes and 27 RVs, bring all remaining units up to code, and pay a $4,200 fine.
In January the county Board of Commissioners unanimously upheld Elsner’s ruling.
Hick appealed the hearings officer order to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, which in May remanded the case back to the county, ruling that Elsner had not provided sufficient findings for his order limiting the number of units on the property.
Elsner’s revised order allows the park up to 18 mobile home and 25 recreational vehicle spaces for use as permanent dwellings, plus 38 spaces for temporary stays, which are limited to no more than 30 consecutive days in a 60-day period. All permanent dwellings, whether mobile homes or RVs, are required to have approved utility and sewer hook-ups.
The owner has until Dec. 1 to bring the property into compliance.
Released by: Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator