Sherman’s Camping World location is planning an expansion of its parking lot.
The Sherman Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a conditional special use permit and site plan for Camping World to expand its parking lot, while also adding additional maintenance for recreational vehicles, which the company sells on site. The commissioners approved Camping World’s request on the condition the business addresses several issues that had been brought to the company’s attention by city staff.
Brandon Waldrum, from CEI Engineering Associates Inc., represented Camping World before the commission. He explained the company’s request to expand its parking lot.
“We’re here tonight to apply for a special use permit,” Waldrum said. “We are expanding the existing Camping World location. We are adding additional parking.”
Among the issues in the staff review letter was one concerning the company’s signage. The commissioners reminded Waldrum at the meeting how his client was in violation of the ordinance allowing a single free-standing sign on the property. The commissioners recommended the various ordinance violations be addressed in order to grant the special use permit the company was requesting. Other violations included parking on the grass, landscaping and junk vehicles parked on the property. A timeframe of one year was attached to the permit with the condition the concerns be addressed. If violations had not been dealt with during that time, the commission would review the situation.
A small group of residents attended the meeting to complain about Camping World’s existing parking lot violations. One of those citizens was Ann Buskirk, who lives on Wilson Street, adjacent to the property. She had some complaints of her own to levy against both Camping World and the RV park sitting next to the business.
“My biggest concern is the addition,” Buskirk said. ” When it started out, it was a nice, 1950s neighborhood. At the time the RV park was not an issue. Back then it was one of the nicest RV parks in all of North Texas. What started out as a nice little RV park has now taken over the street. They are parking RVs on the street, on the grass, everything that is green on their side of the street is covered with RVs. Why do we need any additional RVs? Where are they going to put them? They need to be controlled because they are taking over our little neighborhood.”
When the commissioners asked the audience for further comments, audience members responded by saying Buskirk had addressed their issues.
David Tipton, a representative from Camping World, responded to the commission to address those issues.
“We are purchasing more land, and some of the existing RV park,” Tipton said. “It will all be encompassed within Camping World, with a very nice vinyl, chain link fence. Everything will be paved. Everything will be landscaped per ordinance. We’re going to do everything we can to save as many trees out there as we can. Some of them will be destroyed.”
Tipton said construction should take about six months after the company receives its permits from the city.
“If you gave us eight months that would be enough,” he said. “We just don’t have the area right now. That is the whole purpose of us expanding. Our goal is to make it look nice. If you pull into a car lot and see a bunch of junk sitting around, you are going to drive off. We want to provide a good comfort level for those shopping for an RV.”
The commissioners reiterated the need for Camping World to park their vehicles on paved surfaces only, as that was the biggest issue in the letter from the city, as well as brought up by those in attendance. Both representatives of the company agreed it would comply with the requests.
Another issue the commissioners brought up was that part of the area the company is going to develop is considered a flood plain.
“We are getting everything we need to do to preserve the flood plain,” Waldrum said. “We are working with the engineering department to make sure everything stays within code. We’re proposing heavy duty fencing in the area in case of any flooding. Campers will be securely protected out on site. We will work further with engineering to determine what further precautions we need to put in place to prevent campers from washing into the road.”
Waldrum said the fencing isn’t going to prevent the area from flooding. He said it will be designed to prevent trailers from washing away.