ETOWAH, N.C. — A recent meeting of the Etowah’s Reach Property Owners Association about a proposed RV park to be built on the property of Etowah Valley Golf & Resort was so crowded, there were people standing outside, listening through the windows at the Etowah Lions Club.
The area is about 40 minutes south of Asheville and just a few minutes west of Hendersonville.
“I would guess there were somewhere between 150-200 people there,” said David Garnett, president of the Etowah’s Reach Property Owners Association. “It was standing and sitting-on-the-floor room only. People were standing outside the building listening through the windows.”
A developer from Tribute Development and Investment, based in Wilmington, has plans to build a 343-unit RV park on the golf course, which has been in business since 1967. The developer will be seeking a special-use permit at the 4 p.m. May 31 Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting, which is scheduled to be held at the King Street Meeting Room located at 100 North King St.
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Members of the Etowah’s Reach Property Owners Association are against the developer’s plans, and Garnett said many are planning to be at the May 31 meeting in hopes of getting the proposal rejected.
There were rumors that the meeting might be moved to a larger venue, like Blue Ridge Community College, Garnett said, but according to Henderson County Code Services Director and Zoning Administrator Matt Champion, those rumors aren’t true.
“The meeting will be held in the King Street Meeting Room as advertised. Future meetings may be held at a different location to accommodate a greater attendance,” he told the Times-News on May 22.
Etowah Valley Golf & Resort’s previous owners were the Todd family, including former Hendersonville Mayor Frank Todd Sr., who established the golf club in 1967. The golf resort includes three nine-hole courses (a total of 27 holes), a 75-unit lodge for travelers, a dining room, a clubhouse, a croquet field, a swimming pool and also tennis courts.
According to past Times-News reporting, Todd’s grandfather, Bruce Drysdale, survived the Great Depression with his brick manufacturing plant on the same land as the golf course. Drysdale purchased the Etowah Valley property in 1917. The golf resort prospered until the recession of the late 2000s, which led the Todd family to sell the 246-acre property valued at more than $9.5 million in 2013 to WNC Resort Properties.
“The golf course is the heart and soul of Etowah,” Etowah resident Debbie Rowe told the Times-News last week. “The new owners are trying to turn it into a 343-space RV park, with no paved roads, no paved pads and with roads that can’t support a 30,000-pound RV. We don’t need any more RV parks. There are already five in the area.”
According to Henderson Business and Community Development Director Chris Todd, there are currently 16 RV parks in the county.
According to the proposal by Tribute, the recreational vehicle spaces “shall be a minimum of 2,000 square feet and shall have dimensions no less than 40 feet by 50 feet.” The current property owners are WNC Resort Properties and have worked on a contract with Tribute Development, which is proposing a renovated 18-hole golf course and the RV park.
The site plan to be presented at the May 31 meeting includes the following elements:
- Approximately 57 acres of disturbance
- 6,500 square feet 2-story leasing office
- 45,000 square feet 2-story clubhouse
- 30,000 square feet 2-story sewer treatment facility
- 25% open space (43.46 acres)
- RV spaces are approximately 2,000 square feet
- Gravel driveway off internal roadways to each RV space
- 725 vehicular parking spaces
- 13,400 linear feet of new roadway
- 40 feet easement over roadways
- 20 feet wide travel way width
- New access to Brevard Road
- Additional access to Brickyard Road
Dean Hensley is the news editor for the Hendersonville Times-News. Email him with tips, questions and comments at [email protected].