Commission approves RV park with changes to address neighbor concerns | News

A proposed modern RV complex in the town of Tehachapi would be welcomed by travelers, but residents of a nearby mobile home park fear it will destroy their peace and quiet.

The owner of the mobile home park and a dozen residents showed up on March 14 to express their apprehension to the Tehachapi Planning Commission.

Director of Development Services Jay Schlosser had previously recommended approval with conditions to address issues raised by neighbors. But after residents continued to plead for changes to the layout of the project, Schlosser asked Planning Commission Chairman Kim Nixon for a five-minute break.

During the meeting break, he had a quick chat with developers John Thomsen and Johnny Thomsen in public view – and when the meeting resumed, Schlosser suggested an additional layout change to move the camping parking spaces -cars further east of the property line shared with the mobile home. Park.

The Thomsens – father and son – also own Payless Mini Storage facilities in Bakersfield. Part of the Tehachapi property is proposed to be mini-storage including temperature controlled units. Their original plan was to have the storage units on the west side of the property and the RV spaces on the east side, to provide a buffer zone between the RV spaces and the nearby mobile home park.

Schlosser said the design created a problem because it would place RV spaces in the direct line of the Tehachapi Municipal Airport runway to the northwest, as detailed in an airport study prepared for the project.

In fact, Schlosser noted, a plane crashed into the property proposed for development a few years ago. (The August 14, 2016 crash was an experimental aircraft preparing to land at the airport. The pilot survived and no other injuries were reported).

When planning for development impacted by the location of the airport, Schlosser said efforts are made to move the densest (human) away from the centerline of the runway.

In a note to commissioners attached to the agenda, Schlosser noted that its recommendation for approval was accompanied by a negative environmental impact statement prepared for the project. He said it aired from February 3 to March 4. Letters from Gary Burgeis, Managing Member of Mountain Aire Estates, LLC, and RV park residents Keith Sackewitz and Dean Foster, have been received – along with a petition opposing the RV park. signed by 56 residents.

“Unfortunately, this site represents an undesirable arrangement of the zoning district,” Schlosser wrote. “Specifically, the property in question is zoned M-1, Light Industrial, which is placed immediately adjacent to a residential mobile home park designation. Industrial/residential adjacencies are rare. Given the range of available uses allowed in an M-1 zone, an RV park or mini-storage are both relatively low impact compared to the other options available.

Burgeis, in his letter and testimony to the commission on March 14, said his desire was to preserve the quality of life for residents of Mountain Aire Estates.

The mobile home park was developed in 1991 and serves as permanent residential accommodation for more than 128 seniors, he said in his letter.

He suggested a reconfiguration “to meet the legitimate concerns of the inhabitants”.

If not reconfigured, he suggested building a 10ft block wall, at a minimum, to provide a sound and noise barrier between the RV resort and the mobile home park .

Schlosser included a 10-foot block wall as a condition recommended to the commission, along with an additional 10-foot dense landscaping. Then, after speaking with the Thomsens during recess, he recommended moving the row of RV spaces closest to the mobile home park farther east – while keeping those spaces out of the way. central area of ​​the airport runway.

The Thomsens said they wanted to be good neighbors and accepted the recommendation.

Sackewitz requested that the 10-foot block wall extend from Tehachapi Boulevard south to Valley Boulevard, but Schlosser said he could not agree to requiring the landlord to provide the extra height barrier over the entire the distance as a parcel just north of Valley Boulevard is currently undeveloped and the area at the north end is not adjacent to the mobile home park.

Foster’s concerns included light and noise. He was assured by Johnny Thomsen that generators will not be allowed. Schlosser said the project’s light must meet standards to prevent it from drifting to other areas and the wall should attenuate noise. A 30-day stay limit will be imposed.

Also addressing the concerns of residents of the mobile home park, Schlosser said the terms of approval would be enforced by the city through business licensing and code enforcement.

If the operation violates the codes, it is subject to the revocation of its business license and cannot operate legally, he said.

Schlosser also said the law requires consideration of impacts but there is “no obligation to reduce to zero.”

“It is unreasonable to expect zero change,” he said.

By a vote of 5 to 0, the committee approved the project.

The curators complimented the design of the project and thanked the public for their participation, as well as the staff and the developer for their collaboration.

The project

In a brief interview after the meeting, Johnny Thomsen said market research shows huge demand for an RV resort in Tehachapi.

Although the family business, Thomsen Investments, LLC, of ​​Bakersfield is primarily mini-storage facilities, Johnny Thomsen said he previously operated a hotel business on the Central Coast that was sold to fund the Tehachapi project.

The project is located on approximately 30 acres of land consisting of three plots. Parcel A includes a mini storage building of varying unit sizes totaling 57,000 square feet with covered and uncovered RV storage. Parcel B includes a 91-space motorhome travel park with caretaker’s residence as well as commercial and industrial storage. Parcel C, to the south and adjoining Valley Boulevard, would remain undeveloped for the time being.

Claudia Elliott is a freelance journalist and former editor of Tehachapi News. She lives in Tehachapi and can be contacted by email: [email protected]

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