Proposed RV park would include petting zoo, splash playground

KENNEWICK -- If all goes well, a new family-friendly RV park that includes a petting zoo and splash playground could be ready to accept visitors at the Badger Road exit off Interstate 82 in west Kennewick a year from now.

David and Charlotte Schlotfeldt of Richland have applied for a special permit to build a 182-space RV park on 25 acres just off Cottonwood Drive and Wiser Parkway near the new Cottonwood Elementary School.

"We want a nice park that we and our neighbors can be proud of. We want it to be a place for people of all ages," said Charlotte.

The Schlotfeldts also want to create a place they can call their own, with one acre set aside for them as a retirement home so they can keep an eye on the RV park.

David said they got the idea to build an RV park after noticing that family-oriented RV parks in the Mid-Columbia are few and far between.

"As RVers ourselves, we were looking for a place to go this summer and we ended up on the Tucannon River at the Last Resort. It's a nice place, but it is quite a ways away," he said.

The Schlotfeldts own Universal Homebuilders, a company that builds private homes to owners' specifications. Constructing an RV park would be a first for them, but something they feel is exactly what the Tri-Cities needs.

The public can submit comments to the Benton County Planning Department until the middle of January. A public hearing before the Benton County Board of Adjustment in Prosser is set for Feb. 3.

Michael Shuttleworth, planning director, said an environmental review is necessary, but RV parks are allowed in agriculture zoned land with a special permit.

The Schlotfeldts say their family-friendly park will include tenting camp sites, a main clubhouse, lounge, dining and banquet facilities, an outdoor pool, children's splash water playground, horseshoe pits, a walking path and a petting zoo. They also plan to have camping cottages, which will be moveable, so people who don't have an RV can still come to enjoy the amenities.

Four acres must be used for septic systems, leaving about 20 acres for the 182 pads.

"They will be very large sites for RVs, big enough for the Class A motorhomes," Charlotte said.

The Schlotfeldts said they hope to attract a type of clientele that is different from those who take up residence in more conventional RV parks.

"While some people want to have a more permanent residence, others want temporary stays, such as a work camp environment, or only want a one-night layover. We want to offer more with recreational facilities to make our park unique," Charlotte said.

David said he'd like to start scraping ground and begin construction by early summer.