The Pittsylvania County Board of Zoning Appeals met Tuesday evening, where they, without opposition, approved an appeal for a special use permit to build a campground on Huntington Trail.
The board held a public hearing over the appeal from Rock Solid Hardscapes L.L.C. to construct a 36-site campground in the Tunstall area.
Bert Lewis, president of Lewis Nursery, will be constructing and managing the campground, which he plans to name "Loblolly Lake RV Park."
Lewis says his target tenants will be construction workers that will be in the area for the construction of the Dominion Energy power plant and solar farm at the Megasite in Berry Hill.
"It's going to take many years to build the solar park," said Lewis, who hopes to take advantage of the influx of workers into the area.
Lewis is also hopeful that the Megasite will continue to bring in projects that require construction workers that will stay at his campground.
Lewis Nursery is based on Leakville Junction Road, just off of Huntington Trail. The plan is for the campground to be operated from the Nursery's office building.
Lewis's park will not allow primitive camping, only RV camping.
"It will be a full-service RV campground," Lewis said, meaning that it will provide all necessary RV amenities to tenants: water, electricity, sewage, and he even hopes to provide cable.
The board's main anxiety over the campground's creation was that the campground remains a campground.
"My biggest concern is preventing the campground from becoming a mobile home park for permanent residence," said Chairman Kenneth Talbott.
The approval came with the conditions that no permanent porches, shelters or foundations be added-on to the RV's parked at the campground.
Lewis said he does not intend to allow mobile homes or permanent residents, and that tenant contracts would be as short as one day and as long as one year.
The approval came after a public hearing, during which one woman spoke in opposition to the proposed campground.
Patti Rodriguez brought a petition that the board deny the request with around 25 signatures from people she said either live on Huntington Trail or on adjacent property.
"I think it will bring more problems," Rodriguez said during her allotted three minutes. "I'm concerned about drug use, property values and what it will be in five years."
Lewis, however, believes that the people in opposition to the approval are a minority.
"I think it's going to be a positive for the community," Lewis said.
Chairman Talbott thinks the concern over drugs in the RV park is unfounded.
"I've done a lot of camping, and I've never seen drugs on a campground," Talbott said. "They don't go to a campground to do drugs."
In other matters, the board unanimously agreed to preserve the same chairman and vice-chairman positions that were elected last year.
Chairman Talbott also announced his intention to retire within a year. That means that Talbott will be chairman for his last year on the board.
Board member Leon Griffith also pointed out that the meeting marked his last, as he is leaving the board. Griffith abstained from the vote to grant the permit.
The board also unanimously approved the agenda and the 2019 annual report without any discussion.