Campgrounds and zoning were in question at the Seward County Board of Commissioners meeting Sept. 17.
The board held a public hearing regarding a campground site on Highway 15, by the Interstate 80 exit. The land currently is home to Glenhaven Village Mobile Home Park.
Commissioner Becky Paulsen excused herself from the board and joined the land owner, Alyssa Hendrix, as the zoning official.
Paulsen said Glenhaven was operational before zoning was updated in 1996 and 2007.
“After zoning was established, the area around the interstate intersection was zoned to a C2 highway commercial district. The use of the mobile home park then became a non-conforming use,” she said.
Paulsen said the mobile home park was to continue as a non-conforming use until its removal and the survival of the park was not to be encouraged.
A 30-year resident in the area, Carolyn Kortmeyer, said she was unaware of the zoning change.
“I had never got a date when that zoning changed,” Kortmeyer said. “We were told even if our house burnt down, or we had a tornado take out our house, we wouldn’t be able to rebuild.”
Hendrix said those who live at the mobile home park will be allowed to stay if the campground is approved.
“There’s six actual trailers that are out there that have people staying in them,” Hendrix said. “Then there’s one resident (Kortmeyer) that owns their land within the land. So we’d like to keep the current people that are there, there. It’s affordable living for them and I don’t think that there is anywhere else in the county that they can take their trailers to live. So we would be pushing them outside of the county.”
Kortmeyer said she commends Hendrix for taking ownership of the lot but does not think a campground is the best use for the land.
“I think if you’re going to make it and keep it commercial, there’s got to be different things out there that can be commercial that would be better than an RV park,” she said.
Hendrix asked Kortmeyer what she suggested.
“So would you like a gas station in your front yard?” Hendrix said.
Kortmeyer said there is already one across the street but she would still rather something else be done.
Kortmeyer said if a campground went in then it would attract crime in an already crime-heavy portion of the county.
“I find it very disconcerting that we’re going to allow all these trailers,” Kortmeyer said. “Also at the corner of the county that has the most criminal activity and drug busts. And don’t tell me people don’t come hauling mules in those big trailers. We could get the statistics from the sheriff’s office, how many people get stopped in the big RVs.”
Kortmeyer said she believes the board is rushing its decisions on the matter.
“It needs a lot more study than just ramrodded through,” Kortmeyer said.
Kortmeyer said none of the commissioners live in the area so they do not know the history.
The board discussed action on the conditional use permit to operate the campground. Commissioner Mike Mundhenke moved for the decision to be tabled for two weeks. Commissioner Ken Schmieding seconded.
“I really am not up to speed on any of the changes,” Mundhenke said.
Schmieding agreed and said he would like to get more information before a final decision is made.
Chairman John Culver said he would like some legal advice as well.
“(To get some) information on this. Zoning wise and the notification of when it was changed, they (Kortmeyer) evidently didn’t know,” Culver said.
County Attorney Wendy Elston said she would gladly look into it.
Hendrix asked the board what she could do if the conditional use was not passed.
“If I get told what I can and can’t do with my land and this is something that I’ve chosen and I can’t do it, does it just sit there and grow grass? Do those other people have to leave? I just need an answer then,” she said.
Culver said the board would have to check into that and how it would impact the people currently living out there, if the permit not approved.