DAVEY – The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on Jan. 21 to discuss a proposed campground near Davey.
Dave and Jolene Queen of Lincoln are planning to build a large campground on a 45-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Highway 77 and Davey Road. The name of the proposed RV park is Lincoln Capital Campground.
The project would have up to 240 campsites with water and electrical hookups, management and operational facilities such as a registration/check-in office and store and amenities like a swimming pool, playground and sports fields.
A group of neighboring landowners has formed an opposition group called Citizens for Protection of Rural Life (CPR Life). In a press release, the group said it has appealed the decision by the Lancaster County Planning Commission to recommend approval of a special permit for the project. The decision came after a six-hour meeting on Dec. 4.
Karen Kurbis, a member of CPR Life, said the group is concerned about several issues regarding the campground, including the increased number of people it will bring to an area of Lancaster County that is zoned for agriculture.
“This could create the fourth largest town in Lancaster County with no city services,” she said in the press release.
The group also has other issues regarding the proposed campground.
“We’re also concerned about water quantity and quality for the surrounding family’s wells,” Kurbis said.
Kent Seacrest, an attorney working with the Queens, said the developers have provided evidence that there is adequate water on the proposed location. A test well dug on the site pumped 50 gallons per minute, which is “very high,” he said. The plan calls for drilling two wells on the campground.
The quality of the water is also good, Seacrest said. Although the water has a high mineral content and is considered “hard,” there are no pollutants, he said.
The opponents said they are also worried about added traffic turning off of Highway 77 to the campground.
“There’ll also be safety issues from RVs turning on a four-lane, 70-mile-per-hour highway,” said Kurbus. “It’s high traffic there with lots of semis, so we need turn lanes or a reduction in speed.”
Seacrest said the Nebraska Department of Transportation did not oppose the plans, which includes access to the campground off of Davey Road about 250 feet east of Highway 77. The NDOT also did not require a right turn lane off of Highway 77, he said.
The Queens are planning to pave Davey Road between Highway 77 and the campground entrance, according to a letter Seacrest sent to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department on Nov. 21.
Dave and Jolene Queen have operated Camp A Way at I-80 and Highway 34 in Lincoln for about 25 years. The campground is located on land owned by the City of Lincoln. The city is planning to use the land, so they have notified the Queens that the campground must relocate, according to a letter the Queens sent to neighboring landowners prior to an informational meeting on Oct. 22 in Davey regarding the proposed campground. About 50 people attended the meeting.
Dave Queen said in the letter that they entered into an agreement to purchase the land near Davey from Dirt Mile 77 to build the proposed Lincoln Capital Campground, which will be “an independent and family-oriented” RV park and campground.
Seacrest said if the project gets the green light by the county, the Queens will not build all 240 campsites right away but will phase them in over a couple of years.
“They’ll start much smaller,” he said.
Although most of the campsites will have a 30-day limit for length of stay, the plan calls for some long-term campsites where campers can stay up to 180 days. Seacrest said the Queens are asking for up to 35 percent of the 240 sites, or 84 lots, to be designated long-term, but may not use that many.
The attorney said the Queens have owned several campgrounds over the years, and will use their expertise to help design the RV park, with help from Civil Design Group.
The schedule for construction has not been set, according to Seacrest. The Queens have until 2025 to vacate the Camp A Way site, he added.
Seacrest said his clients understand that change is hard for many people, including the neighboring landowners who would like the area to remain the way it is.
“This is a new land use that they’re not used to,” he said.
CPR Life has formed a Facebook page called “Say No to RV Town.”
The public hearings on Jan. 21 will be held in room 112 of the City County Building in Lincoln.