Agency Nixes Season Extension
Milford Township supervisors near Allentown, Pa., turned down a request to reconsider a two-month annual shutdown restriction on Quakerwoods Campground Inc., citing sewage disposal violations and a long history of housing violations at the 20-acre camping facility.
Campground owner Tony Yu and his daughter Angela Yu, who manages the property for her father, sought a two-week closing in January instead of the current restriction handed down by a Bucks County Court judge in February 2007. Angela Yu said the two-month closing poses a financial hardship for her family's business, according to the Allentown Morning Call.
"Even if I was of a mind to relax the restrictions, which I'm not tonight, this board does not have the authority to change a Bucks County judge's decision," said Supervisor Chairman Robert Mansfield.
In the judge's 2007 decision, the campground, which advertises itself as a recreational, family-oriented facility, must be closed from Dec. 1 through Feb. 1 every year.
"We have a 25-year history of the same complaints out there and of children getting on school buses and people making the site their year-round home," said township Manager Jeff Vey.
The Yu family bought the property in 1999. There are about 200 camping sites. One of the restrictions is that guests cannot spend more than 90 consecutive days at the campground, or more than a total of 180 days per year. "Obviously we've made some mistakes, but we've also done our best to correct them," Angela Yu said.
Prices for the camping sites range from a $35 daily rate to $600 per month, or $2,300 for the entire season, which runs from April to October. Angela Yu said in a previous interview that June, July and August are the facility's peak months.
Yu said she has hired an engineer to deal with septic and sewage violations that the state Department of Environmental Protection Agency found at the site.
"What you need to do is correct those issues, continue to be diligent about screening your patrons, and have a sewer management agreement in place with the township," said township engineer Pete Anderson.
Mansfield said the longer the owners show good faith by taking steps to correct problems and ensuring the campground is not used as a permanent residence, the more likely he would be to reconsider relaxing the restrictions.