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New York Town OK’s Campground Plans

June 18, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

Despite some residents’ objections, the Wheatfield, N.Y., town board voted Monday night (June 16) to change a local law allowing campgrounds and RV parks only if they are in conjunction with a hotel or motel and are part of a minimum 10-acre commercially zoned lot, according to the Niagara Gazette.
The town recently received a proposal for a new motel and RV park. An existing facility, Royal Motel and Campgrounds, will be grandfathered into the new law. The board decided to alter the law because Wheatfield’s code currently prohibits RV parks in commercial zones. “This law should have been approved years ago rather than the one that was passed,” Supervisor Tim Demler said during the public hearing.
After some discussion, the board decided not to limit the months of operation for future RV parks, with members saying that there are year-round events that could draw in campers.
“That invites people to come to the town of Wheatfield and spend money,” said board member Arthur Palmer.
While there will be no set months of operation, campers will be allowed to stay at such facilities for no more than six months and RV storage will not be permitted. Royal owner Mukesh Parikh said most campers stay only for a few nights or, if they are doing contracted work in the area, a couple of weeks.
Richard Betz asked that the board hold off on voting to change the law after he and others raised several points. An avid camper himself, Betz said many RV parks and campgrounds in New England have strict rules on campfires, a point Demler admitted hadn’t been considered by the board.
“That is a good point that should be looked at,” Demler said, later adding, “If I lived next door and there were 100 campfires going, it would drive me nuts.”
Parikh is proposing a second RV park in the town, eyeing land next to the Days Inn. His plan also would include a two-story, 50-room motel with 100 campsites. “It’s a very nice place we’re going to build here,” he said.
Another resident wondered how much noise would be generated by an RV park, but Town Attorney Robert O’Toole said the park-goers would have to adhere to the town’s noise ordinance of 11 p.m. There was also a question on whether there would be any unruly clientele in future RV parks.
Given the upscale, expensive nature of RVs, “You’re not really going to attract motorcycle gangs,” O’Toole said.

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