A Silver Creek couple is pushing to open an RV park on Black’s Bluff Road in the face of opposition from some neighbors and the South Rome Redevelopment Corp.
Gene and Tamara Suits submitted a petition of support signed by four nearby residents in the rural area between the Floyd County Prison and the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
“This will be a safe and clean and well-maintained RV park,” Gene Suits told member of the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission, adding that, “We want to attract good middle-class citizens who work hard.”
The 8.7-acre tract at 262 Black’s Bluff Road once housed a mobile home park and still has a septic system on site that the Suits said they plan to use.
However, Rome Water and Sewer Director Mike Hackett told the planning department there had been environmental issues there, and he sent Assistant Director John Boyd to the Thursday hearing.
Boyd said the septic system would have to be permitted through the health department, “which is aware of this.” The site could be connected to a nearby sewer main, he said, if the Suits installed about 1,000 feet of line and a private pump station.
Additionally, the South Rome Redevelopment Corp. sent Executive Director Charles Looney with a letter expressing “disapproval of the requested Special Use Permit.” It cites concerns about traffic through the South Rome community and the potential for the park to become a permanent residence for some campers.
Gene Suits presented the proposed RV park rules that state any guest renting on a monthly basis must have a permanent residence more than 50 miles away.
He said he’s a regional manager for a large construction company and many of the staff travel in RVs to different projects. He expects the park to house some of them, but not “people who just buy a $2,000 RV and live in it.” Visitors for local events such as the Chiaha Harvest Fair also are among the target demographic.
Plans are to start with 12 camping pads, then add another 14 later along with a recreation area, laundry and bath house. There is a small lake on the property.
A number of neighbors — including a representative for River City Bank, which has a trust in the area — also voiced opposition. Russell Rogers, whose mother still lives in his childhood home there, said he remembers the former mobile home park.
“It started out good, but it ended up bad,” he said. “This is not going to be a plus for this neighborhood.”
Planning Commission member Logan Boss, who lives nearby, recused himself to join the opponents. Boss said the RV park is incompatible with both the current neighborhood and long-range projections in the Future Land Use Map.
“The predominant land use is low-density, single-family residential,” he said.
The application received a unanimous recommendation to deny from the planning commission members: Chairman Tom Bennett and Rickey Beeman, Anthony McClain, Terry Jones, Ivy Lowery, Charles Love, Frank Brown and Bill Temple.
The Suits also are asking for the land to be annexed into the city of Rome. The Rome City Commission will make the final decision following a public hearing at its Dec. 18 meeting.