A horse racing themed RV park going in at Golf Links Road will displace about 20 residents of the mobile home complex currently on site, one of the project developers said.
Brian Gehrki, a principal behind Finish Line RV Park, said residents of Butler Mobile Home Park, 263 Golf Links, were given 60 days notice to vacate effective July 1, with pad rental fees waived for July and August. Fourteen of the more than 30 pads are occupied, according to information Gehrki submitted in support of his rezoning application.
Gehrki and developer Rick Williams acquired the 3.29-acre property from the Butler family in May, according to property records. Their development includes two adjoining Sunnyside Street parcels owned by a third party.
"I contacted probably 10 or 12 mobile home parks to give them alternatives," Gehrki said of efforts made to find new homes for the residents. "We didn't want to leave anybody high and dry. We gave them some options and followed up with two more options to call about relocating their mobile home if it was able to be relocated."
The Hot Springs Board of Directors earlier this month approved Gehrki's request to rezone the 4.40-acre development from medium high-density residential to planned development. It also approved a site plan for a 51 pad RV park that can accommodate 42-foot vehicles with dual slide-outs. A pet park, laundromat, grill areas, playground, meeting areas, fire pits and business office were included in the approval.
Getting approval before placing a food truck location at the park is one of 10 conditions the city attached to the park's planned development status, a zoning designation where regulations are relaxed to encourage innovative design. The site plan met the innovative urban design criteria, one of five standards qualifying a proposal for planned development status.
The park's name owes to its proximity to Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. A replica finish line pole is planned for the Golf Links entrance, and the names of interior streets will pay homage to famous thoroughbreds, trainers and owners who have competed at Oaklawn.
Gehrki said the park plans to draw not only racetrack and casino clientele but visitors who come to experience the full spectrum of activities the area has to offer.
"It's a bigger pie than just the casino and horse racing side," said Gehrki, whose commercial real estate development company built more than 30 Dollar General locations across southwest Arkansas. "There's more reasons for people to be prospective RV renters with overnight stays than just those two. Hot Springs has got so much going on. It's lakes, it's downtown and hopefully, in the not too distant future it's going to be baseball tournaments."
Extended stays of 160 days will be allowed during the live race meet, but rentals will otherwise be limited to 60 days. Only RVs with self-contained showers and sewers will be allowed. Pop-up campers and tents will be prohibited.
"We did not desire to have, nor did the city desire to have, a long-term stay option," Gehrki said. "We have a limited number of pads that would be available for (160 days)."
The planning commission voted unanimously last month to approve the rezoning application and site plan. It received two letters, one supporting the development and the other expressing concern about the potential for criminal activity.
RVs will exit the park via Sunnyside, heading west before turning south onto Terry Street toward the Golf Links intersection.
Local on 07/12/2019
Print Headline: RV park to displace mobile home residents