BRAWLEY – The Brawley City Council held a public hearing on a controversial proposed RV park Tuesday night.
River Palm Mobile Home and RV Park/Mini-Storage/Convenience Market is asking for a zone change to MHP (Mobile Home Park), C-1 (Neighborhood Commercial), and M-1 (Light Manufacturing) in order to permit a mobile home and RV park, a convenience store, and a mini storage facility. The property is currently zoned R-1 (Residential Single Family).
A Conditional Use Permit is required for the mini storage facility.
The project also includes a General Plan Amendment to change the land use from Low Density Residential to Medium Density Residential, commercial, and Light Manufacturing. A parcel map is included to subdivide the lot into three parcels.
The 24.49-acre lot is located north of River Drive, near North Palm Avenue and Duarte Street. It will have 290 spaces for mobile homes and RVs. At capacity, it may house close to 400 people.
The lot is adjacent to the former Pure-Gro Company.
The applicant brought the original request to the Planning commission on November 12, 2014, where it was denied. A revised plan was submitted and denied by the Planning Commission on February 4, 2015. A third revision was brought to the Planning Commission on April 3, 2015, and was once again denied.
The plan would be constructed in phases.
The hearing at Tuesday’s city council meeting was for an appeal by the applicant.
The Business Advisory Committee discussed the plan at their Monday meeting and voted in favor of the plan.
The council heard comments from the public concerning the plan.
Most of the comments were against the project.
The items of concern focused on the existing RV parks in Brawley and their dilapidated conditions.
Imperial County has jurisdiction over mobile home parks in the county and in the cities. For years, these mobile home parks have been in disrepair there seems to be no resolution by the county to rectify these parks, according to city staff.
Other concerns were the lowering of adjoining property values, maintenance, parking, and phasing of the construction.
Sean Wilcox, Chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, commented as a Brawley resident.
“My main concern is the potential devaluation of the property values,” said Wilcox. “It may start out with high hopes of being a quality park, but it may sell or the owners may stop caring. It may end up like the other mobile home parks in Brawley.”
Council Member Donnie Wharton pointed out positive attributes of the proposed $8 million project.
“We have to look at the positives in this proposal,” said Wharton. “This would be a large investment into the City of Brawley. We can’t forget that it may serve the needs of some low-income housing. They are part of the community we serve.”
Project owner Jay Goyal, RSG Capital, Inc., gave a presentation to the council, including artist renderings of the project.
“We are bringing an $8 million project to the City of Brawley,” said Goyal. “With this large investment, we are not going to let it fall into disrepair. It will be beautiful. We did all of the suggested changes to the plan that the Planning Commission wanted to see. They denied the project a third time after we did the changes. We want to cater to snow birds. Their units are very nice and could be worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars. They would not stay at a park that is not well maintained. Also, all of the filming that is being done in the north end of the Valley would be our consideration as well. Some of these companies come in with self-contained trailers and would need a short term place to park. We would cater to them, too. Another benefit of the park would be that dust blowing into adjacent home would be minimized. We ask that you would reconsider our project.”
Mayor George Nava asked staff to come up with some solutions to the concerns addressed against the project and put it on the agenda again for the June 16 city council meeting.