The Kennewick City Council in Kennewick, Wash., likes the idea of a recreational vehicle park planted near the Southridge Sports Complex, but only if it doesn’t elicit a lot of negative public comment, The News Tribune reported.

“That term makes my skin crawl,” said Councilman Bob Olson at Tuesday’s (Sept. 21) council workshop.

Other council members shared the sentiment, recalling how an RV park proposed in Columbia Park turned into a public relations nightmare for city officials, eventually leading to a $3 million jury verdict favoring the owner-operator of the Columbia Park Golf Course.

Mayor Steve Young cautioned the council about taking a careful look at a proposal from Harold and Ryan Thompson to build an RV park in the Southridge area on leased city land adjacent to the sports complex.

Southridge is the area east and west of Highway 395 and generally south of 27th Avenue near Southridge High School.

“Before we go too far, I want us to consider how the public is going to react. We need to see if we want to keep going down this path. We don’t want to see a lot of letters in the Herald on this,” Young said.

Jeff Kossow, Kennewick’s director of economic development and planning, introduced the notion two weeks ago of a public-private partnership for an RV park in Southridge.

Even though it sounded good, Young asked Kossow to revisit the topic this week so the council could openly talk about it.

Councilman Paul Parish suggested the Thompsons present a business model of what they want and the council can respond appropriately.

Key issues will be how many RVs, the length of stay, design standards, landscape buffering along Highway 395 and the ability of sports events participants to reserve space in the RV park, Kossow said.

The city is located on the Columbia River in the southern part of the state.