By Machelle James
My brain is fried. I am on Coronavirus overload. I had to turn off the news as the ups and downs with the stock market, new virus cases, unemployment, furloughs and politics are fueling anxiety that I never had before. These days life is a lot different by staying indoors, away from friends and family – and I am NOT used to being so isolated.
We found out that due to the banks being closed and everyone told to go home, our loan is at a standstill. It’s on hold with no one even looking at it anymore. I am frustrated, and I am angry. I understand it, I really do. This is not just affecting us, but many people around us as well. We are sitting here waiting to get funding, waiting to start, and everything has been put on hold.
Not only that, but our public meeting with Planning and Zoning has been put on hold as well. We were informed that they have postponed all public meetings until further notice OR until they figure out a way to hold public meetings online. I suggested Zoom meetings, as you can have up to 100 people in that meeting for free. I am not sure if that will go anywhere, but I did suggest it.
On top of all that, we have a small group of neighbors who complained to Planning and Zoning that they didn’t have a chance to come to our prior neighborhood meeting. We were advised (even though it’s not mandatory) to have another meeting via online to show a PowerPoint Presentation to the concerned neighbors.
It’s crazy how people’s minds work. They all assume the worst. The fear of a HUGE RV park being built across the street from them. Now you all know how small we really are, so this makes me laugh. They also are fighting the zoning we have. It’s unfortunate that I have to explain to them that we are the correct zoning and we are NOT asking for a zoning change. We are zoned correctly. We just need a permit to operate.
It’s comparable to us to agreeing to a more stringent set of rules and guidelines to abide by for operating an RV Park. Any of you who own or built an RV Park are very aware of the NIMBYs who simply have no argument besides, “I don’t like change and I just don’t want it here.”
On a good note, we were able to meet the only local Off Road mechanic and his wife before we were all ordered to stay home. They are Mike and Vickie, and they only opened up shop in our small town two years ago. They are super busy being the only Off Road shop up here. They were delighted to have us partner with them for when we do open and our guests have a trusted mechanic to fix their OHVs.
We also met with our insurance agent to learn about the true costs for operating an OHV-friendly campground. While they have rules that we as campground owners need to enforce, it wasn’t that bad at all. Arizona is such a HUGE off-roading state that it was not a surprise, nor rare, to ask for this type of insurance.
We are NOT renting ATVs or Side x Sides at all. That has different insurance requirements. We simply have to make sure children under 16 years old wear a helmet, and they cannot drive themselves around the inside of the campground. Mom and Dad have to drive their OHVs to outside the property or they can push their own OHVs outside our property line. We have to follow the rules, and so do our families.
In the interim of this madness, AJ and I have decided to keep working on things that we can do ourselves until the storm ends. We are digging out tree roots with our friend’s excavator, we are still cutting down the shrubs for RV storage and we will be putting up a temporary fence this weekend. I am going to nail down some sign ideas for the internal parts of the park: street signs, one-way signs, CHECK IN HERE signs, site number signs and our Clubhouse sign. I have wonderful friends who want to help with wood cutting and painting of our signs, so I am thankful for them as well!
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on our neighborhood meeting as well as any promising news that comes our way.
Thank you all for following our journey and, as always, See You in the Trees!
And please leave a comment.
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.