Danedri Thompson

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A resort that would accommodate visitors to Big Bull Creek Park is under way, although the county has yet to develop plans for the 1,300-acres of park land near Edgerton.

Michael Riley, Texas, owner and developer, told the Gardner News it’s premature to talk about the proposed travel-trailer resort. However, the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board will discuss a proposal for Bull Creek Ranch Resort during a meeting at 7 p.m. on April 28 at the Senior Citizens Center in Gardner.

Riley and co-owner and developer Judy White, Edgerton, will ask the county zoning board for a 20-year conditional use permit to create an RV resort on 19 acres at 33965 W. 199th Street in Edgerton. The existing property, just south of Mildale Farm and west of Big Bull Creek Park, contains a residence, a horse barn and other out buildings. Once developed, it will include a clubhouse, a registration building and store, a bath house, guest cottages, a fitness center, swimming pool, and meeting facility. The developers also are in negotiations with a neighboring property owner to secure additional land and a manager’s residence.

According to the permit request, developers anticipate about a 70 to 80 percent occupancy rate during the peak season and 30 to 40 percent occupancy rate during the off-season.

Bill Miller, Gardner Edgerton School District operations director, said he will provide a letter to the zoning board expressing school officials’ concerns that the resort will host residents permanently.

“We don’t have an objection,” Miller said. “From the proposed renderings, it looks really nice. We are just looking for the assurance that the use will continue as described and not turn into permanent residences.”

Miller said the school district has opposed high-density housing in the past. In 2008, the district voiced its opposition to a proposed apartment complex on Moonlight Road due to the number of students such a property was likely to produce. That development was proposed a second time to include senior housing, but was rejected by the Gardner City Council largely due to traffic concerns at Moonlight Road and Main Street.

Customers at the RV resort will be limited to stays of 28 days or less, according to the permit request, and county code enforcers will be responsible for insuring that guests don’t out stay their welcome.

Much like other hotels and resorts, RV sites and cottages will be assigned to guests with specific check-in and check-out dates.

“Market studies show that local and regional customers will use the resort more for family groups and business events while the national customers will use the more traditional amenities during their stay,” the proposal reads.

County staff doesn’t anticipate traffic concerns arising from the proposed resort. RV drivers and other guests will likely access the property from Interstate 35 using the Gardner Road exit and then traveling west on 199th Street.

County staff will recommend that the Southwest Johnson County Consolidated Zoning Board approve the conditional-use permit for the proposed property. If approved, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will be asked to approve the proposal at a later date.

The proposed development will likely come before both boards again before it is completed as county staff, county officials and developers finalize details for design plans for the project.

A public hearing on the proposed RV park will be at 7 p.m. on April 28 at the Senior Center in Gardner.