Ontario RV Park Owner Gets OK to Expand

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November 20, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

A neighborhood dispute in Cornwall, Ontario, spilled into city hall this week as city council members considered a proposal to expand and modernize a local RV park during a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting.

Council members approved a zoning application in support of a planned upgrade and expansion of the Maples RV Park on Vincent Massey Drive, but not before getting an earful from residents and neighbous of the park, according to the Standard Freeholder, Cornwall.

The property owner, Run Guo Yang, intends to expand the park to 31 sites (up from 24) and install new landscaping effects, underground services, washroom and laundry facilities and a main office. Aside from seven permanent sites that currently exist on the property, the remaining sites would be for temporary RVers only.

Yang's agent, Sean Adams, said his client is willing to work with the city, located on the St. Lawrence River in the eastern tip of the province, to create a "state-of-the-art" RV park facility in Cornwall, which could help to draw tourists to the city.

But not everyone was on board with the plan. Speaking on behalf of his wife, Sandra Nittolo, the owner of the nearby Martin's Inn, Brian Bennett said the proposed expansion would lead to more noise for neighbours to put up with and more permanent RVs taking up residency at the site, thereby affecting property values in the neighbourhood. Most of all, Bennett argued that the site wasn't big enough to handle the expansion.

Another neighbour, Gary Poitras, suggested that fencing be erected to minimize contact between the properties.

Meanwhile, park residents Betty Hayes and Karen Myers argued the park is already located in a busy commercial area, and the planned expansion shouldn't create any problems.

"I can't see where it's going to cause any trouble," said Hayes, who started the park with her husband nearly 40 years ago.

Bennett countered that he has no problem with the existing RV park, but he is concerned about the site being expanded.

"I don't think it's right for the area," he added.

That led to a heated exchange of words between the residents before Councillor Bernadette Clement, the PAC chairwoman, reined in the debate.

City planning staff were supportive of the application, and they eased some of the concerns by stating that fencing and property setback issues will be dealt with in the site planning process. Staff also reiterated that the expansion will only involve temporary RV sites.

"We can deal with a lot of these issues through (the) design (stage)," said Ken Bedford, city planning division supervisor.

A number of councillors expressed support for the proposed expansion, saying it will be a good thing for the city. Councillor Elaine MacDonald said she had friends visit in an RV once and they had to stay in Ingleside 15 miles upriver because they couldn't find accommodations in the city.

"We need this," she said. The zoning application is still subject to final ratification by the council.

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