Public Hearing Thursday On Proposed 148 Space RV Park In Smithfield

UPDATE: A public hearing on a proposed RV park scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed. Town Manager Mike Scott announced late-Wednesday the plans did not meet the Town’s Transportation Plan. If the plan is amended to meet the Transportation Plan, it will likely be accepted and brought before the Planning Board at a future date and then to the Town Council for final consideration.

A public hearing will take place Thursday on a proposed 148 space RV park and 48 rental cabins in Smithfield.

Theron Lee McLamb has applied for a special use permit from the Town of Smithfield for a Smithfield KOA off South Equity Drive near Carolina Premium Outlets and near the Pine Acres community.

The recreational vehicle park would be located on a 33 acre tract of land McLamb currently owns off Magnolia Drive and just west of the Pine Acres subdivision.

Tony Nixon, Chairman of the East Smithfield Improvement Organization, is opposed to the project.

“I think it is a bad idea. It is a bad fit for the community,” Nixon told WTSB News and “All my neighbors I’ve spoken with are definitely against it and those who don’t have a vested interest in the neighborhood can’t understand why they would want to put a RV park next to a residential neighborhood.”

“They are quite enraged about this particular business going there. They are not against a business going there, just this type of business.”

Plans call for a 50 foot buffer on the west side of the proposed RV park and a 20 foot buffer on the north side.

In addition to the RV park and cabin rentals, the site would also contain a swimming pool, dog park, and camp store.

Developers said the Outlet Center commercial area is currently served by two RV parks, one in Selma and the other in Four Oaks. And on most nights there are numerous RV’s parked at Wal-Mart in Smithfield.  They contend the facility would provide a safe and secure location for travelers in RV’s to stay and would be an asset to Smithfield by attracting more shoppers to the area, which would increase the tax revenue.

They also said it would be a family friendly RV park and would be associated with KOA and would be constructed in accordance to their standards.

The Town of Smithfield Future Land Use Plan has identified this site as being suitable for office and institutional land use.  While the RV park is a permitted use in the park, planning staff have reported the proposed RV park is not consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan and “…will pose a compatibility issue with the adjacent single family dwelling subdivision to the west. The size and intensity of the proposed recreational vehicle park will be detrimental to the adjacent residential subdivision due to inadequate buffers.”

The Smithfield Planning Department has recommended the Planning Board deny the Conditional Use Permit needed for the RV park when they meet Thursday at 6:00pm for a public hearing.  The final decision rests with the Smithfield Town Council which could take up the matter as early as August 1st.