Luxury RV park developers to resubmit plans

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chuck Piazza of TGC LLC said that his company might be returning as early as December to resubmit plans to the Spartanburg County Planning Commission for a luxury RV park near the intersection of Hwy. 11 and I-26.

Piazza and a partnership of owners have been working to resolve issues that are impeding the development of the RV resort park. The company&squo;s development plan was initially rejected in a 5-2 vote by the planning commission in August of 2007.

The planning commission stated that West Frontage Road, which would provide access to the Carolina RV Resort, was not suited to handle the weight of recreational vehicles.

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Piazza stated this was one of several obstacles that the developers needed to resolve in order to move forward with plans.

&bsp;&dquo;Rather than make it an issue we&squo;ve agreed to cap the road and bring it up to heavier standards as far down as it meets our property and widen it, too,&dquo; he said.

Along with meeting the road requirements, TGC LLC is also waiting for approval from Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer District to install a sewer line that would connect to the Landrum line.

Piazza said that when this approval has been received, the developers will return to the planning commission. Presently the group has received the go-ahead to obtain water from the Inman-Campobello Water District, he said.

Piazza, who describes himself as an avid &dquo;RV-er,&dquo; believes that the development of the 88.5 acres of land would potentially benefit the surrounding communities of Campobello, Landrum and Tryon.

&dquo;This will be very much like a country club for motor homes,&dquo; he said.

Piazza stated that he believes the average RV enthusiast would spend up to $100 a day or more in the surrounding communities.

The Carolina RV Resort is set to have around 270 spots for lease. Piazza explained that his company had wanted to sell the spaces, but a stipulation was put on the development that would require the company to lease or rent the spots.

Piazza and his group have had to seek outside legal representation because some local residents are opposed to the development of the luxury motor home park.

At the meeting in August of 2007 the planning commission listened to concerns of residents who worry that the RV park would bring unwanted traffic and be a water supply contamination risk. There is also apprehension about how the RV park will look.

Patrick Knie is one opponent of the proposed RV park. He has lived in the area for 2&rac12; years and owns 20 acres of land.

Knie said that one of his biggest concerns is that the RV park is going to fail and the property will be left with an infrastructure of empty concrete pads.

&dquo;I don&squo;t think [the development] is feasible with economy and gas prices. I just think RV-ers likewise are cutting back. I don&squo;t want a failed project there. That would be worse than having an RV park,&dquo; he said.

Piazza said he has tried to understand the concerns of those who oppose the development, but he ultimately feels that the project would be beneficial to the community and explained that this project would be cleared by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

He explained that the visibility of the RV resort park would be limited with the intended landscaping.

&dquo;We&squo;ll pick-up the horse farm themes. We want to do something that will be very unobtrusive,&dquo; he said.

Piazza believes this project could potentially increase the value of local property. He also believes that despite the depressed economy, the needs and wants of luxury motor home owners have changed very little.

&dquo;Many RV-ers own several lots around the country. Recent research shows that they are just staying longer,&dquo; he said.

Piazza said that people should not be denied the use of their property and he hopes this development matter will not go to litigation.

Knie says for him the RV park would be quite visible. The back of Knie&squo;s property faces the RV site and according to Knie, no amount of landscaping will shield him from the view since his property sits lower than the site of the proposed park.

He said he never thought that a 200-lot RV park could potentially be in view from his back patio. Knie and around 50 others have organized to defeat the development.

Knie said there are safety concerns on a road with tonnage restriction. He said that the road is too narrow and that two RV motor homes would not be able to pass each other on the road.

&dquo;I think it&squo;s the wrong place. I think it&squo;s going to depreciate the property. I think it&squo;s going to be an eyesore,&dquo; he said.

Knie is optimistic that the planning commission and/or DHEC will not approve this project.

&dquo;We have the right to appeal and litigate any decision that the planning commission and/or DHEC may make,&dquo; he said.

Knie described this region of South and North Carolina as a &dquo;little jewel&dquo; and said that the residential and farm areas are at risk by allowing industry to come into these areas. He believes that the high-tech industry is bringing new residents who are looking for attractive areas to buy and live and we need to preserve these regions.

&dquo;I think we really need to consider the long range of what we allow to come into it,&dquo; he said.