The Pacific County Planning Commission is holding two hearings to accept public input on their proposed zoning ordinance. The proposed ordinance will apply specific land use regulations to all unincorporated areas of the County. The complete text of the proposed draft is available on the County's web site at www.co.pacific.wa.us.
The public hearings are scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, July 8, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Ilwaco Heritage Museum, 115 SE Lake Street.
Thursday, July 10, starting at 6 p.m. at the Pacific County Superior Court Room located in the Pacific County Courthouse at 300 Memorial Drive, South Bend. (Note this is a different location than the previous hearing).
At the conclusion of the second public hearing, the Planning Commission may recommend adoption of the ordinance to the Board of Pacific County Commissioners. Anyone interested is invited to attend said hearings and be heard. In order to include any presented information for the record, it will be necessary to furnish a copy of the information to the Planning Commission. Letters may be sent to the Pacific County Planning Commission, P.O. Box 68, South Bend, WA 98586, or via fax to 875-9304 or 642-9304. Comments can also be Emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments must be received by 4 p.m. on the day of the hearing to be included in the record for the hearing.
RV's are now defined to mean a vehicular type unit primarily designed for recreational camping or travel use that has its own motive power or is mounted on or towed by another vehicle. The units include travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, folding camping trailers, truck campers, and motor homes.
Within the boundaries of Flood Control Zone District No. 1, which I suspect encompasses most of the Long Beach Peninsula (although it is not defined in the proposed zoning ordinance) RV's use is allowed as follows:
RV General Restrictions
All RV usage and parking shall occur outside of the county right-of-way
All RV usage shall adhere to the minimum setbacks for the district within which the RV is being temporarily occupied;
Summer season RV use between May 1 and Sept. 30, temporary RV occupancy on a vacant or undeveloped parcel is allowed without a restriction on the number of days of occupied use as follows:
One recreational vehicle per 2,500 square feet of lot area may be temporarily occupied on a parcel, provided the total number of recreational vehicles shall not exceed two RV's at any given time except during temporary events, festivals, holidays, clam tides, etc., the maximum temporary recreational vehicle occupancy shall be limited to no more than six RV's for a period of time not exceeding the length of the festival or event, or for seven days, whichever time period is longer, and provided all other standards contained in this section are met; and,
The unoccupied storage of no more than two RV's on a vacant parcel is permitted.
Winter season between Oct. 1 and April 30, temporary RV occupancy on a vacant or undeveloped parcel is allowed as follows:
Maximum duration of use not to exceed 60 cumulative days.
One recreational vehicle per 2,500 square feet of lot area may be temporarily occupied on a parcel, provided the total number of recreational vehicles shall not exceed two at any given time, except during temporary events, festivals, holidays, clam tides, etc., the maximum temporary recreational vehicle occupancy shall be limited to no more than six RV's for a period of time not exceeding the length of the festival or event, or for seven days, whichever time period is longer
The unoccupied storage of RV's on a vacant parcel is prohibited (bring it and take it policy).
The current proposed zoning and its treatment of RVers is better than the previous draft but unfortunately it continues with its punitive approach toward RVing and its negative bias against RVers.
It fails to realize that RVers are respected and responsible citizens in their communities. It also fails to recognize that some RVers are potential future residents of Pacific County. As observed by a show of hands at the March 2003 public hearing and by periodic articles in Homeowner Association Bulletins, many current residents were RVers on the Peninsula before they became residents.
Because the death rate exceeds the birth rate, Pacific County is dependent on net in-migration to sustain its population. Why doesn't the Peninsula encourage responsible RVers to temporarily visit, support the local economy and enjoy the area year round without undue restrictions especially when many of the RVers have sufficient disposable income to purchase RV's that cost as much if not more than many of the homes on the Peninsula? Aren't these the type of future residents and neighbors you would like to have?
RV's should be able to park on the county right of way bordering their property just as homeowners are allowed to use the county right of way. Property owners are taxpayers and taxpayers own and should be able to use the county right of way bordering their property. Why should homeowners be allowed to use the county right of way for parking of their or their visitor's legally licensed vehicles when RV's (which are legally licensed vehicles) are not allowed too? Fair zoning restrictions should be applied to all tax parcels and all vehicles including RVs instead of punitively restricting one type of vehicle, RV's.
The proposed restriction requiring RV's to meet the same setback requirements as permanent dwellings is another punitive restriction. What is wrong with an RV parking in a driveway or using the lay of their property to accommodate their and their friend's RV on a temporary basis? If all vehicles were not allowed to park in setback areas or in county right of ways, many homes would have no place to park vehicles except in their garage! RV's are vehicles. Since RV's are mobile and are not permanently attached to the property, why should they have to meet the minimum setbacks?
Property owners should be able to enjoy their property with their family and multiple RV friends just as homeowners can enjoy their property with their family and multiple friends. Limiting the use of the RV owner's property to the owner's RV and one friend's RV is arbitrary and totally unnecessary. RVers should be able to enjoy their property with their several friends in their RV's as they desire. What facts support proposing such a punitive rule?
The exception for allowing more than two RV's on a lot is yet another classic example of a bureaucracy gone amuck! What on earth is the justification for only allowing more than two RV's on a tax parcel only during festivals? What responsible elected pubic official would decide that events such as family reunions, scheduling of vacations, and friends getting together in their RV's have to coincide with a Pacific County approved festivals in order to use privately owned property?
To allow for enjoyment of "Indian summer" weather on the Peninsula, the summer season for RV Use should extend from May 1 through Oct. 30. Extending the summer season allows working families to more conveniently enjoy the holiday(s) in October and no less than the four festivals/events scheduled for October 2003 at the beach if they choose.
RV use in the winter season should be allowed for more than 60 cumulative days especially if the RV is occupied more than 90 percent of the time it is on a tax parcel? What is wrong with RVers supporting the local merchants especially during the merchant's slow season? Why does the Peninsula sponsor festivals and events during the winter season if it is not to attract visitors including RVers?
Pacific County representatives have repeatedly stated that they do not have the resources to enforce the rules that currently exist. If Pacific County enforced the rules they have now, many of the perceived problems associated with a very small minority of RV's would go away. The answer is not to create more rules that Pacific County does not have the resources to enforce!
Through the expenditure of money for a myriad of things ranging from groceries, restaurants, hardware, building and nursery materials, tourist items, etc, RVers provide significant revenue for the local economy including revenue to merchants and through taxes.
If you are for fair treatment of all property owners including RV property owners, voice your opinion by speaking up at the hearings on July 8 and July 10 and by submitting your comments to the Pacific County Planning Commission, P.O. Box 68, South Bend, WA 98586, or by email to email@example.com. Be sure to copy the county commissioners with your input and, if you would like, email a copy of your input to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.