Once again, Madera County has failed to do its job, which is to protect the quality of life of its residents.
Local residents had to resort to legal services to cause the project on Sky Ranch Road just east of Highway 41 to be withdrawn by the developer. There is no doubt the RV park proposed for there will impact the area. Initial studies were either inaccurate or insufficient. County staff gave it all a pass and even the planning commission gave it a green light. This seems to be the standard practice by county officials as all they see is tax money, in this case in the form of transit occupancy taxes.
One of the most important functions of county government is the proper administration of zoning laws. There are clear reasons why residential neighborhoods are not encroached by business or other types of property uses. Now and only after a legal challenge will all the impacts of the proposed RV park be studied and reported to the public. An EIR is going to be done, but beware the report will be paid for by the developer.
Residents brought up concerns about the narrow road that will serve the big RVs. Traffic, water quality and quantity, sewage, noise, light pollution and emergency evacuation are all issues to be resolved.
An RV park might be a good idea and maybe this spot will work but the developer must not cause undue hardship on local residents. The burden of proving that this is a good idea is on the developer. Residents should not have to hire legal counsel to protect their interest.
Marc Sobel lives in Oakhurst. He recently ran for Madera County District 5 supervisor.