Board declines to take action on appeal for three water meters
Beverly Bryant - March 28, 2017 10:46 am
Ponca City’s Board of Commissioners declined to take action on an appeal of a decision denying additional water meters to the developer of an RV park at Kaw Lake.
Bill Rutz had appealed the decision by the Community Development Services which denied him an additional three water meters from Rural Water District No. 1.
Rutz has developed an area near Kaw Lake as an RV park with a few cabins, boat storage, a boat repair shop, laundry room and office. Any water meters located on such developments must be approved by the Ponca City Board of Commissioners to prevent high-density development outside the city limits.
The water sold by six Rural Water Districts is provided by the City of Ponca City through contracts limiting the amount of water available to RWD customers.
Rutz began his development in 2011 when he asked the commission for a permit for a meter which would provide water to 20 slots for an RV park on the property. In 2012 he requested two more water meters, saying one meter would be used for eight RV spaces and 12 cabins, and the other would be used for a future convenience store and bait store.
Collectively, the City Commission approved a total of 28 RV spaces and 12 cabin spaces, as well as a separate meter to facilitate the construction of a convenience store and bait shop at its Feb. 13, 2012 Regular Commission meeting.
The applicant has not complied with the conditions set out by the City Commission with regard to the development of the current RV park. Aerial photographs show there are about 54 RV spaces, four boat storage buildings and boat service business on the site.
In February 2017, Rutz requested the additional three water meters, saying he wished to add up to 20 additional RV spaces, 15 to 20 cabins to be built on top of the boat storage units, and an additional 15 to 20 one-room, low profile cabins.
Rutz said he was seeking approval of all three meters before starting any of his planned additions.
Commissioners asked Rutz why he had not followed the previous plans he laid out when he received permission for his previous water meters and he responded that he had changed his mind based on economic considerations. He said building the cabins was cost prohibitive so he added additional spaces for RVs instead.
Instead of a convenience store, he said his plans now are for a store that would sell accessories for campers.
City Manager Craig Stephenson reminded Rutz that he previously said he did not plan to build more than 60 spots when he started his development.
“Now this would be an additional 60 spots for a total of 110,” he said.
Rutz said he started the Sun N Fun water park in 1979, the Kaw Lake Association and other economic development.
“I’m the only one doing anything out there. They are buying stuff here in Ponca City and that’s a huge amount of taxes gained,” Rutz said.
Mayor Homer Nicholson said Sun N Fun has been closed for the past two years, but will be reopened this year. He wondered if the city could handle the increased water use when the park is open. He said the board needed “to anticipate unintended consequences.”
Commissioner Nancy Rathbun made a motion to deny the application for the additional meters. Her motion died for lack of a second.
Commissioner Lanita Chapman made a motion to permit one additional meter at this time for 20 more RV spaces. It also died for lack of a second.
No further motions were made and Mayor Nicholson declared the issue is dead.