Pennsylvania County Finds Harmony in RV Park Zoning
Editor's Note: The following story appears in the current issue of the PRVCA Advantage, the e-newsletter of the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association and is courtesy of the Washington Observer-Reporter.
Greene County in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania is experiencing a demand for housing, albeit mostly temporary at this time, generated by the influx of gas and pipeline workers into the county.
Applications for camping grounds, or recreational vehicle parks, have been submitted to Franklin Township Zoning Hearing Board, which approved several of them as defined in the township ordinance as camps or camping grounds.
However, the zoning ordinance did not specify any zones in which a camping ground is a permitted use. The applicant needed to receive either a variance or special exception depending on the property’s zoning designation.
But last week, the township approved changes to its zoning ordinance regulating campgrounds or recreational vehicle parks as a result of a sharp increase in the need for temporary housing because of pipeline construction in the area and because the township has been inundated with plans for recreational vehicle parks.
About 21 applications have been submitted for the parks during the last two years and 10 have been approved by the zoning board.
Until the approval of the ordinance, the township did not have regulations pertaining to campgrounds.
The ordinance, among other things, prohibits campgrounds in R-1 or R-2 residential zones and requires a campground to be more than 200 feet from a residential district.
By doing what it did, the township created harmony for development by addressing concerns of residents who have made improvements to their property and insures home value will be maintained.
It also allows for the development of these campgrounds where temporary housing is so desperately needed.