Pennsylvania Resort Plan Faces Stiff Opposition

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November 9, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

Residents near a proposed campground south of Reading, Pa., believe the owner has chosen the wrong location for the facility.

John Scalia has applied to build a private campground on a 69-acre parcel off Weaver Road that is bordered by several housing developments, according to Reading Eagle.

The land is zoned for residential use, but Scalia has applied for a zoning change that would allow the campground, said Douglas Reigh, zoning board chairman.

 A hearing is set for Tuesday.

Neighbors say the campground would be too close to a residential area and could generate noise, smoke from campfires and erode privacy.

But Scalia said his campground, which would feature cabins and tents, would not impact surrounding property owners. There would be a 1-acre buffer between the campground and nearby homes. And the campground would not be open to recreation vehicles, he said.

Scalia said he wants to create a resort-type atmosphere with cabins, volleyball courts and a fishing pond.

"I want to make it on the fancier side," he said of the facility.

Reading attorney John Muir was retained by 15 neighbors to represent their interests at the zoning hearing.

Neighbors would like to see impact studies, such as what the campground would do to traffic, and they believe the facility could alter the character of the neighborhood, Muir said.

"You are changing it from a rural use to a commercial one," he said. "It can have an impact on the entire community."

Robeson Supervisors Chairman Roger K. Feeg said the campground must receive the zoning change before it can move ahead in the land development process.

Supervisors have not taken a position in the zoning hearing, Feeg said.

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