The legal staff of Wyoming’s Teton County is arguing a Buffalo Valley campground owner can’t challenge a planning decision that blocked him from bringing recreational park trailers onto his property without obtaining special permission.
In a response to Buffalo Valley RV Resort’s request, Deputy County Attorney Nicole Krieger said new rules regarding the park model trailers require property owners to go through a special approval process, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported. County officials have said that even if resort owner Harry Washut prevails in his challenge, he still will have to abide by the new regulations.
“Contestant’s appeal is moot,” Krieger said in the filing. The issue is being handled administratively through the county appeals process.
Recreational park trailers are hard-sided units that sit on a chassis. They are hauled to campgrounds where they are connected to electric and sewer services.
Critics have likened them more to hotel rooms than recreational vehicles.
Washut is appealing a decision by Planning Director Jeff Daugherty. Washut asked Daugherty to determine that recreational park trailers and recreational vehicles are similar.
If that request had been granted, Washut would have been allowed to bring the new units onto his campground without any special permission from the county.
Daugherty, however, flatly turned him down. Attorneys representing Washut filed the appeal in April.
In her response, Krieger said that Washut doesn’t have the right to continue with his appeal. She said Washut isn’t considered an “aggrieved” person under the county’s land-use rules, a requirement to appeal a decision of the planning director.
The county’s land-use rules say that an aggrieved party is someone who has filed an application or requested an interpretation of regulations. The rules also define an aggrieved person as someone who is adversely affected by an action on his or her planning application.
Washut is one of three campground owners who have petitioned county officials to bring recreational park trailers to their properties. He is the only one who hasn’t been allowed.
Jackson Hole Campground won the ability through a settlement agreement. County officials approved an application from the Snake River KOA in 2010 that allowed recreational park trailers to be brought to that site.
Washut has been trying to bring the units to his campground for two years. After numerous delays and stiff opposition from a neighbor, county commissioners seemed poised to approve a small number of trailers for Washut.
But the campground owner withdrew his application a day before commissioners were slated to vote on it. Before pulling his request, Washut asked Daugherty to make the determination the trailers are similar to other recreational vehicles and therefore wouldn’t require any additional approval.
Daugherty turned down that request in March.
County officials agreed to hire a Lander attorney to oversee a hearing. Once the hearing is complete, the officer will make a recommendation to county commissioners.
The two sides are scheduled to go before the hearing officer Aug. 14.