Plans for a revamped Shoreline RV Park with fewer, but larger, spaces were heard by the Crescent City Council last week.
The plans call for 86 sites rather than the park's current 192, said city planner Eric Taylor. But the spaces will be 60 feet long and 30 feet wide instead of the current 20- by 40-foot spaces. Guests will also have access to 50 amps of electricity instead of the current 20-amp service and will have easier access to water, sewer and cable connections.
The revamped RV park will feature more spaces fronting the beach and Elk Creek Estuary, as well as a 3,000- square-foot clubhouse, Taylor said. The city also hopes to pave the park, adding curbs and gutters to improve drainage.
"All the roads are proposed to be 25 feet in width," he said. "You have more waterfront sites all the way around. We don't have any roads separating people from the beachfront. They'll have access directly to the ocean; the views will be a lot better."
Crescent City received a $777,690 disaster relief grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration last summer to revamp the RV park, according to Taylor. The city was required to contribute about $150,000 to receive the grant, he said.
The EDA awarded Crescent City the grant due to Del Norte County's designation as a presidentially declared disaster area after the 2011 tsunami, according to a letter the city received in August 2012.
The project's total cost is approximately $2 million, according to Taylor.
Shoreline RV Park sits on 8 acres of land the state granted to the city at the turn of the 20th century. The park was built in the 1970s and had been managed by a private operator, Taylor said. City staff took over management of the park in 2006.
"The park is now over 40 years old," Taylor said. "It's at the end of its useful life. It's time to do some redevelopment."
Visitors currently maneuver their RVs over gravel roads. Taylor said that utility boxes housing the electrical outlets are corroded, and water pipes are rusted at the bottom; sometimes they're buried by squirrels. Vehicles often run over the sewer connections, tamping them into the ground, he said. Many vehicles also don't fit into the park's spaces, he said.
In addition to widening the RV spaces, the electric, water, sewer and cable hook-ups will be housed in pedestals able to withstand the elements, Taylor said. The city also hopes to install a better drainage system that will treat the water that goes into the ocean, he said.
Council members were excited about the RV park plans, which had already been approved by the Planning Commission, but said they would like to see more spaces for tent camping.
"When I'm at the grocery store or Rite Aid, I run into a lot of bicyclists," said Councilwoman Kathryn Murray. "I think it would be a valuable asset and commodity for them to have the opportunity to camp here instead of moving on down the road."
Murray said if the city couldn't include tent camping sites at Shoreline RV Park, she would like to see the staff look into options for establishing a campground elsewhere.
Crescent City resident Susan Roberts echoed the sentiment regarding tent camping. An association called Adventure Cyclists help bicyclists from all over the world plan and map out trips all across the United States, she said.
"One of their main routes is the Pacific Coast Trail. You can take it from Alaska down to the southern tip of South America," Roberts said, adding that she herself biked across the country from San Diego, spending money in many local economies.
Shoreline RV Park currently has 11 tent spaces with roughly two to three spaces being used at a time, Taylor said. There currently are not enough restrooms to sustain many tent campers, he said. The only time the sites fill up is around the Fourth of July, Taylor said.
"We don't have the restroom facilities to handle tent camping," he said, adding that the only restroom is at the front of the park near the office. "That's why we have to bring port-a-potties for part of the year."
The Council ultimately agreed to a policy that will allow tent camping on three RV sites when they are not in use.
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