County’s Rules Deter RV Park Expansion

July 29, 2011 by   - () Comments Off on County’s Rules Deter RV Park Expansion

Bradford County, Pa. is marked in red. Since 2008, Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in Bradford County has increased by 20% and has hundreds of natural gas wells drilled. The area has attracted national and international investment.

Due to the gas industry, the RV parks in Pennsylvania’s Bradford County are now filled to capacity.

But, according to a report in the Towanda Daily Review, the owners of the RV parks aren’t willing to expand the size of their parks because of the “headache” of dealing with government regulations.

So says Steve Moore, owner of Moore’s Auto and RV Sales, who urged the Bradford County commissioners on Thursday (July 28) to modify and streamline local regulations to make it easier for RV parks to expand. Moore also encouraged the commissioners to look at allowing year-round RV camping in the county parks in order to accommodate the needs of gas workers.

Moore said he telephoned the owners of local RV parks this week to find out if they had any additional room in their parks, and to find out if they were planning any increase of the number of RV sites at their parks.

“To a person, they have the money, but don’t want to go through the regulatory headaches to expand their places,” he said.

Moore said the lack of RV spots is causing substantial waiting lists at local RV parks.

“An owner (of an RV campground) told me she has a waiting list of 60 people,” Moore said. “In Sayre, another owner told me he had empty lots for the past 12 years, but has none available now. In Milan, there is a 20-30 person waiting list (at another RV park).”

Moore said one example of an inappropriate regulation is that the Bradford County Planning Commission recently required the Pine Cradle Lake Campground in Rome, which now has year-round RV camping, to construct roads inside the campground that are wider than township roads. That is an unnecessary expense for the campground owner, he said.

In the gas industry, RVs are being used locally as living quarters by everyone from roughnecks to managers for Chesapeake Energy Corp., Moore said. Moore said the lack of RV sites in Bradford County is creating a safety issue.

“I have had gas field workers in my office for weeks now who are staying in Montrose, Ogdensburg and Tunkhannock – and they’re all looking for RV spots in Bradford County,” Moore explained. “A lot of these guys have to be at a safety meeting at 6 a.m. in Athens, after a 12-hour work day. I think it’s a safety issue to have to travel that far to get there at 6 a.m.”

Moore urged the commissioners to establish a committee that would look at the feasibility of having year-round RV camping in the county parks. Currently, such camping is allowed in the parks only in the summer season, he said.

Year-round RV camping in the county parks would bring in revenue to the county and would help alleviate the lack of low-income housing in the county, he said.

And he said he wants to make sure that regulations are in place so that the smaller, mom-and-pop operators of RV campgrounds can have an adequate number of RVs on site.

Bradford County Commissioner Doug McLinko said he agreed that the regulations need to be looked at with an eye toward modifying them.

However, he said RVs need to be accommodated in such a way that setbacks are preserved. He also said RVs shouldn’t be located in neighborhoods where neighbors with children would be uncomfortable having them there.


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