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Rural Monte homeowner settles RV cover suit with county

MONTESANO — A rural Montesano homeowner will be allowed to place a cover over his recreational vehicle after filing a land use petition act suit in Grays Harbor Superior Court.

Alan Burkhalter, who lives on Ashley Drive outside the city limits of Montesano, had applied for a variance before the Grays Harbor Board of Adjustment in October in order to receive legal permission to install the cover over his RV. But the commission neither approved nor denied the application. One of the commissioners voted to approve the motion, but the other members present didn’t second the motion. Because of a lack of a second, the application was deemed denied, by default.

Burkhalter appealed the decision through attorney Bill Stewart.

“There was no written, spoken or voiced opposition to the application for variance submitted by neighbors, the public or any agencies,” Stewart writes in the appeal. “The applicant took steps to minimize the visual impact of the RV structure on the neighbors and neighborhood.”

Stewart writes that the applicant built a high, legal fence around the property, chose colors and materials to closely match the existing house and other legal structures on the property and built the structure of sturdy, lasting materials.

The settlement agreement, approved by Superior Court Judge Mark McCauley on Dec. 12, calls for the RV structure to only exist during the lives of the applicant and his wife, so long as they own the property. If someone else takes over the property, then they’d have to apply for their own variance or tear the structure down.