Supervisors approve RV park

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By John Barnhart

The Bedford County Board of Supervisors, during a regular meeting last week, approved an RV campground off White House Road in the Huddleston area. The campground will occupy about 10 acres of a 64 acre parcel belonging to Scott and Ida Heath.

    Getting the approval required two steps. The Heaths’ property, like a number of others in the county, ended up split zoned when the county adopted a traditional zoning ordinance  in 1998. Most of it is zoned Agricultural Residential (AR). A campground is allowed in an AR district with a special use permit. A portion, 17 acres of it, was zoned Low Density Residential (R-1), a zone in which campgrounds are not permitted.
    In October, the planning commission unanimously recommended eliminating the split zoning, and recommended approving the special use permit for the campground by a 4-1 vote.
    Some people spoke against the proposal at the public hearing before the supervisors voted.
    “I am opposed to this,” said Carolyn Hannabass who owns a farm adjoining the Heaths’ property.
    Hannabass said that she was concerned that it would bring additional traffic to the area and that the campers would cause problems. She said her farm has been in her family since 1929.
    Three others echoed her concerns about traffic.
    But Eric LaBorie, co-owner of Camp Karma, spoke in favor of the campground.
    “I am totally in favor of this project,” he said.
    LaBorie said that it’s the perfect complement for Camp Karma, which is a primitive campground. He said that there is a shortage of campgrounds in the area, stating that most of his campers are overflow from other area facilities. He also said that 75 percent of his campers come from a three to four hour drive from this area.
    He went on to say that, like the Heaths, he and Lin Frisbee, the other owner of Camp Karma, live on the property.
    “They are going to patrol the property like we do,” he said.
    In discussion among the supervisors, District 2 Supervisor Chuck Neudorfer noted that current zoning ordinance discussions with the planning commission have dealt with preserving open space while allowing people to make money off their land. He also felt that it wasn’t reasonable for the supervisors to second guess the Virginia Department of Transportation, which has already considered the traffic issue on the road, and deny the Heaths the use of their property.
    “I’m in favor of letting the campground go forward,” he said.
    The vote to approve the rezoning and the special use permit for the campground were unanimous.
    Scott Heath said, after the meeting, that he hopes to have the campground, called Sweet Water RV Park, open when camping season starts next year.