Reprinted from the Island Free Press
A new oceanfront RV park adjacent to the Avon Pier is scheduled to open by Memorial Day.
The Avon by the Sea RV Park will feature 26 full hook-up sites, an electronic gated entrance, an on-site bathhouse, lush vegetation and will be situated on the northern and ocean-facing side of the property, per the site plans. The RV park will encompass at least 2 acres of the 4.85-acre property.
Though the site plan for the RV Park was approved by the Dare County Board of Commissioners at the Dec. 21 meeting, and by the Dare County Planning Board in November, the project has been several years in the making, property owner and project orchestrator, Joe Thompson said.
“I’ve been thinking about it for about three years now, but every time I considered it, I would walk away from the concept,” said Thompson. “Originally, when we had done quite a bit of site engineering, we had planned on putting in a combination of condominiums and townhomes, and we had conversations with (the state Division of Coastal Management), the county, and the health department (about the project.) But every time we were at a point of moving forward, something would happen, like a hurricane or ocean overwash at (adjacent) Ocean View Drive, so we put on the brakes.”
The planned RV park has the potential to fill an accommodations gap in Avon. The village has both a motel and a soundside campground, the Sands of Time Campground, which welcomes both short-term and long-term patrons. The Avon by the Sea RV park will concentrate on attracting short-term visitors only, with no long-term leases planned, and will be the first and only oceanfront RV park in Avon village.
Thompson hopes to start accepting online reservations beginning in the spring, and to open the park to the public in the summer.
“We’ve already started demolition and rough grading, and we hope to have the survey work done in the next week or two, so our tentative grand opening date is Memorial Day Weekend.”
The RV park will follow the revised rules for travel trailer parks Dare County adopted Oct. 19, 2020. The 26 sites will be separated by 15 feet. Travel trailers will be allowed to stay onsite year-round but must be fully licensed and ready for highway use, as well as free of excessive additions such as decks or porches. The site of the RV park itself must also be at least two acres in size, per the new rules.
Thompson said that they will be adding about two tractor-trailer loads of vegetation to provide a natural buffer between the individual sites, and between the park and the rest of the oceanfront area, which is also home to Pangea Tavern, the Koru Beach Klub, and the seasonal weekly farmer’s market.
While the RV park will take up the northern side of the Avon Pier-adjacent property, and around two-thirds of the current parking spaces along the oceanfont, parking for regular Avon Pier visitors will not be significantly impacted.
“We’ll lose about half of the parking for the pier that is oceanfront parking, but we’ll still have parking for the pier along the oceanfront, and of course, we have a plethora of parking sites near Pangea and the Beach Klub,” said Thompson. “Unlike most of the piers on the Outer Banks, our property doesn’t lack in parking.”
This story is provided courtesy of the Island Free Press, a digital newspaper covering Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Free Press to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest along our coast.