Located near Sunrise Beach on former Lake Road 5-41 now named after the RV park, Deer Valley Campground opened to its first campers in 1965.

One of Lake of the Ozarks’ vintage campgrounds could see a major expansion soon if the rezoning is approved by Camden County officials and possible floodplain requirements can be met.

Located near Sunrise Beach on former Lake Road 5-41 now named after the RV park, Deer Valley Campground opened to its first campers in 1965, and for the last several years, it has been associated as the campground at Franky & Louie’s Beachfront Bar & Grill at the 10 mile marker of Lake of the Ozarks.

Under new ownership in recent years, the campground could expand to another 60 acres east of the existing facilities with a rezoning of 52 of those acres to general commercial for the stated intent of an RV park. The other eight acres are already zoned appropriately for this potential. 

Camper or travel trailer parks are a permitted use under B-2 general commercial zoning in Camden County’s Lake Area Zoning District in which this property is located.

According to Prestige Lakewide’s rezoning application with Camden County P&Z, approximately 187 RV sites are proposed for the 60 acres. 

P&Z Administrator Tanna Wirtz said the proposal was in line with development standards for RV parks in the Appendix F of the county’s land use code. Appendix F requires a minimum width of 25 feet and a minimum length of 50 feet for each RV site. Significant green space should also be part of the campground expansion with the county requiring at least 10 percent of the area to be usable common open space maintained for recreational purposes. With a campground of this size, a 30-foot vegetative buffer is also required between these parcels and nearby single family residential property. 

According to Wirtz, the applicant also indicated the private road serving this vicinity will be improved with the expansion. A narrow and steep, roughly paved road, Montgomery Hill serves the current campground, the proposed expansion site and beyond that, private lake homes.

With an abandoned trailer park on one portion of the expansion site, Wirtz said that property could be considered blighted, making the proposed campground a potential improvement to the area, though the residents over the next hill may or may not agree.

Wirtz confirmed that there had been some communications received with residents in the area concerned about the proposed rezoning and development. 

The exact nature of any opposition or support for the development will be measured at the rezoning hearing before the Camden County Planning Commission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.

Located in close proximity to the Village of Sunrise Beach, the town’s board of aldermen has been invited to officially comment on the proposed rezoning. The village has an intergovernmental agreement with the county to comment on county cases within one and one-half miles of the city limits. A provision of the agreement also requires a supermajority of the county planning commission and county commission to approve a case if the village opposes it.

There is no opposition or support for the project from village at this point as its planning commission and board of trustees has not yet met to review the proposal. Sunrise Beach Planner Roger Corbin did say his main concerns, that could be addressed by the developers, were that the proposed layout of the RV sites comply with national floodplain building standards and that the county ensures its requirement for a vegetative buffer to the residential properties nearby is met.

The floodplain manager for the village, Corbin said parts of the proposed development area are in the high hazard floodplain according to federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps and RVs and campers are under the same requirements as a permanent structure. The current campground is also in the floodplain and is one of the more flood-prone areas on the west side of the lake, according to Corbin. Due to its age though, Deer Valley Campground has “grandfathered” status, allowed to continue in non-compliance because it existed prior to regulations.

It is unclear how the high hazard floodplain boundary may impact the proposed campground area. While the county has a draft layout, it appears to be a non-technical rendering to give a general idea of the layout, and not based on a topographical map.

A drive up Montgomery Hill by the abandoned trailer park reveals a draw of low-lying area on a finger of lakefront and then fairly steep hills on either side. The proposed RV layout however may largely avoid this area though.

With floodplain regulations it could also be possible to raise the elevation of the area with fill or to elevate the RV sites and any other structures in some other manner. The question could come down to the cost-benefit of such an endeavor.