In a split vote, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners has approved a controversial RV park in the rapidly-growing McGee’s Crossroads community. In a 5-to-2 vote, commissioners agreed Monday night to rezone 15.31 acres of land in the 12000 block of Highway 210 near Interstate 40 to Resort Residential.
The applicant, Bill Turner with The Turner Group Inc. of Raleigh, said he had been in the real estate business for 40 years and there was a need for an RV park in the area. Commissioner Ted Godwin said all the emails he received were against the development but he agreed with Mr. Turner that there was a need.
“I’ve been looking at this thing strongly ever since it hit our radar. I’ve been against it and other times I’ve not been against it. I haven’t had any citizen email me that supported it. I have had several emails that wanted it denied,” Commissioner Godwin said.
“But I’ve looked at the site. I’ve looked at how it drops away from the road. The apartments immediately beside this entrance, they’re nice looking, and the large subdivision right across the road from it, is going to impact this community a whole lot more than this proposal would. It’s going to be out of sight. It’s going to be down in the woods, lower elevation, minimal traffic, I really don’t see it as a negative for the community,” Mr. Godwin stated.
Chairman Chad Stewart said, “Number one, referring to the emails, the McGee’s Crossroads area, we have been sensitive to their needs over the years. We no longer put apartments at this interchange. We no long put houses, based on sewer usage, at this interchange. We have listened to the people at McGee’s and we have spoke for the people at McGee’s. Now they don’t want this. Well at some point in time we’ve got to let landowners do what they want with their land. And in my opinion, like I said, I live at the intersection of I-95 and US701, and there is two RV parks. One has been there my whole life. One is ten miles up the road on I-95. If you don’t put an RV park on an interstate that goes from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, or from Maine to Florida, where in the world do you put an RV park? That is where you put ’em.”
Godwin made a motion to approve the permit. Commissioner Tony Braswell seconded the motion. The measure passed 5-to-2 with Commissioners Larry Wood and Patrick Harris voted against the park.
Previously, the Johnston County Planning Board voted 6-to-0 to recommend denial saying the RV park was inconsistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. During the March 16th meeting of the Planning Board, the applicant did not appear. However, a neighbor Miriam Lambert did. Lambert said she lived a mile away and had concerns the RV park could attract transients and increase crime.
Unrelated to the RV park, Mr. Turner told commissioners he was also developing 100 residential lots on Lynch Road off Highway 42 East near the new Thanksgiving Elementary School and more than 40 residential lots off Jackson-King Road.