A zoning change for a proposed RV park from agricultural to public in Equality township drew objections from a neighbor and questions from County Commissioners, but ultimately received a go-ahead.

Charlene Hickel made the request to rezone 40 acres in Equality Township, where she wants to put an RV park with 100 spaces. Hickel told Commissioners the RV park is not intended to be a crew camp.

“Our proposal is for a recreational vehicle park,” she said. “Not workers. There will be a designated area for children to play. That will be included in the overall park design.”

Hickel said she hopes to bring students out to the area for Arbor Day to plant trees.

Terry Weisz, the adjacent landowner east of the property, however, told commissioners he objects to the proposal for several reasons.

“Initially, it was a park with 38 spots,” he said. “Then, at the only planning and zoning meeting — which I wasn’t privy to — they upgraded it to 100. There’s a big difference between 38 spots and 100.”

Weisz also pointed out that there is a wetland and a pipeline running through the project area.

“My main concern over this whole thing is if they are approved with the open septic,” he said.

Those can too easily overrun, and, in that case, there’s a wetland and his property in its path.

“I’m opposed to that,” he said, adding that he has children and grandchildren who might at some point want to build a home in that location.

A second concern he has is trespassing. He posts no trespassing signs every fall, yet every fall has a lot of people go on his land anyway.

He’s concerned that with an RV Park full of recreational visitors, that there will be even more trespassers than before.

Fox Run has a lot of trash, he added, and 100 campers will mean a lot more traffic in that area.

Hickel, in answering the questions Weisz raised for commissioners, took particular offense to the implied Fox Run comparison.

“We are not Fox Run,” she said. “That’s not fair to me. That’s not fair to who I am. What they do is for everyone else to deal with. They are not my issue. My issue is my place.”

Hickel pointed out that among the conditions from the planning and zoning board was a fence to prevent trespassing. She said it will also be explained to campers that they must not stray from the park and wander on private property.

She also asked commissioners to consider allowing her to put in a fence that will be more aesthetically pleasing and more effective than a chain link fence.

“I don’t want a temporary worker site,” she said. “I want an RV Park. I want a place where people want to go every year. Where people say we’re going to make our reservation there because it’s beautify, it’s nice, it’s quiet and they take care of their place.”

Sam Henderson, planning official with Williams County Development Services, added that the site plan does avoid the wetland, and that the project owners must work with the water resources board to approve a plan with appropriate measures in place for run-off.

Williams County Commissioner Steven Kemp made a motion to approve the request for a zone change as long as all eight of planning and zoning’s recommendations were followed. The chain link fence requirement was amended to allow installing a nicer fence.

The motion was seconded by Williams County Commissioner Barry ramberg and passed 3 to 2, with Williams County Commission Chairman David Montgomery and Williams County Commissioner Beau Anderson voting no.


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