Fishing for a place to park

New owner wants to build RV park at old Dragnet cannery

Posted: Wednesday, June 08, 2005


  A business owner hopes to develop a camper park here alongside the Kenai River near the Kenai city dock. Photo by M. Scott Moon

A business owner hopes to develop a camper park here alongside the Kenai River near the Kenai city dock.

Photo by M. Scott Moon

The Kenai city planner has recommended that a business owner be allowed to build a 70- to 100-unit recreational vehicle park on the same property as the old Dragnet cannery on Bridge Access Road.

Jay Cherrier, managing partner of Port of Kenai LLC, which has a postal address in Seattle, filed an application with the city of Kenai to build the RV park on the plot of land.

The city of Kenai requires all RV parks to apply for a conditional use permit, which means the application must first go through a public hearing process. The decisions of the planning commission are subject to a 15 day appeal period.

"We just don't believe there will be any impact to adjoining properties," said Marilyn Kebschull, city planner for the city of Kenai.

Kebschull said the area gets really backed up with traffic from people wanting to go dipnetting and launch their boats during the summer. This will give people a place to stay while they participate in their activity, she said.

Kebschull's report attached to the application said this use of the land is consistent with the purpose and intent of the zoning district and that it will not impair the value of the adjoining land.

"We in the city know there's a need," she said.

Cherrier said he purchased the land about six months ago.

He has leased the cannery to some area entrepreneurs who plan to operate it this summer. He said he may also put a storage yard on the property in the future.

He hopes to have the RV park operational this summer. By next summer, he wants to have sewer and water hookups available.

"I think it's just a very good location," he said.

"For safety issues and other issues, having more area to accommodate the sport fishing and also the commercial (fishing) makes it a good idea to do it," he said.

Kebschull said this is the first application to build an RV park in Kenai since Spokane-based Blue Sky Pilots Trust applied to build one near Kenai's VIP Estates neighborhood last year.

At the time, residents of the neighborhood collected more than 150 signatures opposing the park. It was never built.

She said she has not received any comments from the public on this application and did not think it would be an issue because it is in a heavy industrial area.

The public hearing with the Kenai Planning and Zoning Commission will be held in the Kenai City Council chambers at 7 p.m. tonight.

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