Dave & Dujanovic: A 500-unit RV lot at beautiful blue Bear Lake?

May 24, 2021, 5:30 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The mayor of Garden City, Utah, near the shores of Bear Lake, said his community is being swamped by development — specifically calling out plans for a giant RV lot. 

A developer has started working on bringing a 500-unit RV lot to Bear Lake. Consider this: Nearby Garden City has a population of about 600 residents.

Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt and former Mayor John Spuhler joined the conversation with KSLNewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic.

Getting in and out of region is ‘brutal’

Bear Lake is Dave’s favorite spot to vacation.

“It’s incredible in the summertime. It’s incredible in the winter. If you want a snowmobile, it’s amazing for that as well. Here’s the problem, and this is what really has me worried, Debbie, getting in and out of Bear Lake is a bear,” Dave said.

He said the trip along US 89 through Logan Canyon to Bear Lake — elevation 5,924  feet — is “brutal.”

“It’s two lanes. It’s extremely windy. It takes an hour,” he said.

Former Mayor Spuhler is against building the RV lot.

“We’re at high altitude,” the former mayor said. “A lot of older people will be in those RVs, and we’re already maxed from that perspective as well as law enforcement in my opinion.”

Bear Lake to get more than just RV parks

Current Garden City Mayor Mike Leonhardt said he is not for or against the proposed RV lot.

“As a mayor, I am not for or against any development. What I’m for is due process. We have a lot of development that wants to come in to Bear Lake,” Leonhardt said, adding, “The other thing that has really come to Bear Lake hard is short-term rentals. We have right now between January 1 until today’s date about 85 building permits for homes. I can tell you that probably 84 of those will be for short-term rentals.”

The mayor said many things must happen first before the RV lot can go into operation.

“One of the things, if this thing even goes through, they will have to work with UDOT to make turning lanes, widen the road out there to go ingress, egress into that development,” Leonhardt said. “So, there are so many things that need to happen before this thing will ever be approved. You’re talking months down the road before this thing will ever happen.”

“I think my main concern is when you talk about RVs, you talk generally about retirees,” Debbie said.  “. . . the former mayor was on the line about an hour ago and brought up an excellent point. If you have volunteer firefighters or EMTs who are getting called from their day jobs at City Hall to run over and care for these folks at a higher elevation that sounds like a recipe for medical disaster.”

“Well, that’s true. I don’t dispute that at all,” the mayor said. “Again, they can’t just blame it on a 500 RV park because we are still being inundated with short-term rentals that still have more impact.

“When you pack 30 to 60 people into one residential home, and you’ve got about 85 on the dock right now being built with what we have already up here, which is over 400 units in short-term rentals, it’s not just an RV park, it’s the growth in general,” Leonhardt said.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

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Dave & Dujanovic: A 500-unit RV lot at beautiful blue Bear Lake?