OAKHURST – A controversial proposal to build a large RV and camping park off Sky Ranch Road has been withdrawn just days before the plan was set to be voted on by the board of supervisors.
County officials confirmed late Friday the developer on the project pulled the current proposal, which included a request for a General Plan Amendment that had already won approval earlier this year from the Madera County Planning Commission.
Board Chairman Brett Frazier said the developer, Irvine-based Red Tail Acquisitions, “has decided to withdraw its current application and come back with a full EIR (Environmental Impact Report).”
After Sky Ranch Road residents mobilized in opposition to the proposed development, hundreds of people signed a petition asking supervisors to turn down the controversial 40-acre project, which at full build-out could have brought as many as 800 RV park users a day to the mostly residential area east of Highway 41 on Road 632.
“It looks like a big win for the people living up there,” said Frazier, who noted that it’s not clear when the developer’s proposal might come back before the board.
“It usually takes between six months and a year for an EIR to be completed,” he said. “If this proposal does go forward, the EIR will make it a better project.”
A favorable EIR could also shield Red Tail from potential future lawsuits if the development is allowed to go forward.
Rhonda Salisbury, CEO of Visit Yosemite | Madera County, is disappointed with the decision.
“We are sorry to see this development delayed or possibly canceled. I understand some of the neighborhood concerns, but through our research, we felt this was an asset to both the community and tourism. ”
Frazier emphasized the cancellation of the public hearing scheduled for the board’s Apr. 2 “On the Road” meeting in Oakhurst was made “at the developer’s request.”
The public hearing had originally been slated for mid-March but was pushed to the April meeting so that more Oakhurst area residents could attend.
“The concerns of the people [living near the proposed development] were heard,” Frazier said. “That’s the way our system is supposed to work.”