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MEEKER — It appears residents of Love’s RV Park — about half of them, anyway — will have to move at the end of this month when the park’s conditional use permit expires.
But at least it looks like they will have a place to go.
Some 40 units from the Love’s park will move to the nearby Stagecoach RV Campground, across from the Kum & Go on Highway 13, said Ginny Love, co-owner of Love’s RV Park, along with her husband, Sam.
“They are wanting to take at least 40 units from here,” Ginny Love said of Stagecoach, which is owned by Mike and Sharon Clark of Meeker and leased by Berry Bros., a general contractor out of Berwick, La.
RV parks like the Love’s, have emerged – and dotted the local landscape – as the county responds to the demands of a housing crunch caused by the influx of workers for the pipeline industry. Many of the residents of Love’s RV Park work at the Enterprise gas plant.
But, as in the case of Love’s, the park was intended to be temporary. And that temporary permit ends July 31.
“The county told me not to take anybody else in,” Ginny Love said. “I turned away 13 this week, and I still have 50 on a waiting list.”
Jeff Madison, director of the Rio Blanco County Department of Planning and Development, believes all of the residents of Love’s RV park will find new homes, eventually.
“What we were told is they (the Loves) had figured out accommodations for about half of the people,” Madison said of a meeting last week between county officials and the Loves. “So that just leaves 45 or 50 units. I fully expect, primarily with Stagecoach, that they will be able to accommodate those people.”
While work is under way at Stagecoach to prepare sites for new guests, the Loves are looking into another option.
“We have an alternative location, where we could put 150 to 200 units,” said Ginny Love, who wanted to delay identifying the location of the alternative site until homeowners had been notified. “It is completely secluded. They (the RV park residents) would be completely hidden, which would make everybody happy. There is already access to the highway. There’s available electricity. There’s more than enough water.
“Nobody can drive by and complain,” she said. “The public doesn’t go through it. I think it’s a better location.”
The new location would have a different septic system, Ginny Love said, which has been a sticking point with the current site. The new site would have a leach field system, while the old site has had a pump-and-haul system.
“We were given approval for our septic system (at the current park), but what happened was we had more than 2,000 gallons per day, so that kicks it into a state situation,” Ginny Love said.
The state prefers a leach system for handling waste, she said.
The Loves planned to show the alternative site to county officials this week. They also planned to ask the county for an extension in order to give them time to prepare the new site, Ginny Love said.
“What we’re asking for us a 90- or 120-day extension, until we can get the other park approved and in,” she said. “We hope the county will work with us. I would hope they (the county) will not ask the people to leave and have no place to go.”
Madison said he anticipates there will be room for all of the residents of the Love’s RV Park, if not at Stagecoach, then someplace else.
“I fully expect we’ll have all of the residents of Love’s out of there and into other accommodations by July 31,” he said.
In the interim, Madison expects Stagecoach will be able to handle the influx of residents from Love’s, though space will be tight, at least initially.
“It’s not going to be the ideal situation at first,” Madison said. “It will be more crowded (to start) than it will be long term. But at least it looks like they (Stagecoach) will accommodate all of them.”
While workers are adding electrical and water hookups at Stagecoach in anticipation of residents moving over from Love’s, other sites will be coming on line in the future, with some already in the planning or permitting stages.
For example, he mentioned a permit request from Keith and Kim Rule of Meeker.
“They are working through the last portion of their special use permit,” Madison said. “And we have a couple of other ones that look very positive.”
By next spring, Madison expects the availability of housing for pipeline workers will catch up with the demand.
“We are going to have a temporary bottleneck,” he said. “But private individuals and the (pipeline) companies recognize this is a pressing need, and they are stepping up to the plate, as they should.”