By Machelle James
I think I have had more stress in the last two weeks than I care to admit. We have had many back and forth emails between us, Planning and Zoning and our Engineer. We had a deadline of May 1st to have all of the items they needed to be on the May Planning and Zoning Agenda.
What happened was there were emails coming in from all departments and we missed some items, as in: What are the locations and sizes of our water lines? Where are our parking and handicap parking spaces going to be? We also needed to show we are working with ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) to have them approve the engineering of our septic system. They wanted a design visual of our Monument Marker for our campground. So we have been working hard on making it look as accurate as possible.
We had a very stressful last-minute meeting with all parties involved. We needed five final answers and one was about how the RVs would turn around if they tried to come in when we are closed. Apart from our social media messages and prerecorded messages that we are closed, we needed to show visually on our Monument Marker that we are going to post a “Closed for Winter” sign. We needed to have enough driveway space for RVs to back out and turn around on our site plan. I am not sure who would turn down a street to a closed RV campground, as we haven’t experienced that yet and I hope we never do!
We finally answered the 94 questions that the neighbors asked after our second Neighborhood Meeting. It always is concerning when another local business owner is asking about our plans, rules and regulations. I wouldn’t even think to ask another business about their private security measures or the Kelvin lighting outputs.
I laughed when I read a question about what our decibel output is going to be. I have no idea and I’m not going to walk around carrying a decibel meter either. (We do not have a noise ordinance here.) We are going to be respectable campground owners and will not allow for rager parties and utter debauchery happening here. Just have some trust, for crying out loud. Think bike parades, hay rides, cornhole games, laughing and children playing. That is what I hear happening in our campground. My Oh My, how people’s minds run wild!
We also met with our local Auxiliary Sheriff today. He came by and gave us the most peace of mind we could ask for. He and our town officials are very aware of small town living complaints. Change is so hard for the folks that live here that they moan and complain about everything new that comes to town.
The dynamics have changed so dramatically in our town that there are families here now and it is open for business for anyone and everyone. But once they see a new business is not a threat or it really was a good thing that it was brought to town, they almost always change their minds.
This used to be mainly a retirement community up here and word got out that it is BEAUTIFUL up here. Not to mention the temperatures are WAY cooler than in the valley in the middle of summer. We still need a light jacket on summer nights as it gets chilly once the sun goes down.
Other than that, we have been working hard to remove tree stumps and we are starting to make our own Camp Site signs for our internal use. We have ideas to repurpose the wood we have here and we cannot wait to share them with you!
My next story will fill you in on our Planning and Zoning Meeting that is scheduled for May 21st. We are the first Zoom meeting that Planning and Zoning will be using to hold a public meeting. We are on the Agenda and it cannot come fast enough so we can get to the next step. Send us your good vibes and wish us success!
Thank you all for following our journey and, as always, See You in the Trees! And please leave a comment.
AJ and Machelle James
Read previous articles here.
Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.