File photo by Marcy Stamper Mele has been working on her vision for an RV park with decorated trailers near Methow since last year. Some of these trailers may have been swapped out or moved since this photo was taken in November of 2015.

File photo by Marcy Stamper
Mele has been working on her vision for an RV park with decorated trailers near Methow since last year. Some of these trailers may have been swapped out or moved since this photo was taken in November of 2015.

Park would include nine units, tent sites, bathroom facilities

By Marcy Stamper

Okanogan County is considering a proposal from a property owner who wants to create a nine-unit RV park with two tent sites and a bathroom facility on 11 acres located north of the town of Methow.

A site plan for the Happy Camper Recreational Vehicle Park was submitted by Kimberly Mele in June to the county’s planning department. The county’s planning director has determined that the project would not have an adverse effect on the environment.

The property, 1.5 miles north of Methow on the west side of Highway 153, is bisected by Danzl Road. Plans call for a 1,115-square-foot, two-bedroom private residence on the lower portion, which is on the Methow River. The house would be within 200 feet of the riverbank but not in the floodplain, according to the application.

The upper portion would have nine RVs or vintage travel trailers for camping, plus two areas with tents on platforms. Mele plans to construct visual and sound barriers between the units and the view from the highway.

File photo by Marcy Stamper Since she started working on plans for an RV park last year, property owner Kimberly Mele has been renovating vintage trailers and decorating them with different themes.

File photo by Marcy Stamper
Since she started working on plans for an RV park last year, property owner Kimberly Mele has been renovating vintage trailers and decorating them with different themes.

As Mele was acquiring vintage trailers for the project over the past two years, the county Planning and Building departments received citizen complaints about the number of trailers and other structures on the property. Officials with both departments contacted Mele, asking her to stop work until she obtained the appropriate permits and building inspections from the county.

In an interview last November, Mele said that because her plans — to offer vintage trailers for overnight rentals — were unusual, she wanted to make progress on the project so the county would understand what she envisioned. She put considerable work into refurbishing some of the trailers, decorating them with different themes.

Filing this binding site plan — which describes Mele’s plans in detail — is one of the steps required by the Planning Department, said Planning Director Perry Huston last year. There are other requirements that would have to be met before the trailers could be rented as overnight lodging to tourists, he said.

The RVs and tents will be served by restrooms and a bathing facility that will be constructed in an existing building.

The project has a licensed on-site sewage waste-treatment system. An application for a community water system is pending with the state Department of Health.

Parking for 11 guests and two residents will be located near Danzl Road. Guests will be provided with carts and wagons to transport their belongings to the RVs and tents.

The site currently has five buildings. Three on the lower parcel are being used for storage and the smallest one will be retained for tools and equipment. Two of the larger buildings will be moved off-site. A building on the upper bench will be remodeled as the bathhouse. Plans for the fifth building weren’t clear from the application.

Plans call for up to 18 guests in RVs and four in tents, which would be used seasonally (not during the winter).

People may comment on the county’s environmental review until Nov. 3 and on the project itself until Nov. 18. For more information or to comment, contact Angie Hubbard at the Planning Department at (509) 422-7160 or ahubbard@co.okanogan.wa.us.