Life Back to Normal at Flagg's RV Resort in Maine
Life is almost back to normal at Flagg’s RV Resort in York, Maine, as seasonal residents return to a changed Webber Road park, seacoast online.com reported.
There are an estimated 30 recreational vehicles in the York Beach campground that once held more than 80 RVs, and six new “park models” have replaced the larger, cottage-looking units the town ordered removed last year. Amid the controversy, many campers left Flagg’s, moving to Camp Eaton in York, or north to a campground in Wells and other areas.
“I’m one of the 30 that stayed the course,” said Pat Lee, who is back at Flagg’s with her husband, Jack Lee. “I’m optimistic. I’ve been in the park 50-plus years. Seasons come, seasons go. I think this too shall pass.”
When not at Flagg’s the Lees are in Palm City, Fla. Pat originally went to Flagg’s with her parents. She and Jack, who have been married for 46 years, carry on the tradition.
“I just like the location,” she said.
Melvin “Bud” and Pamela Riggs of Oklahoma expect to return June 26, having spent many summers at Flagg’s.
“We’ve decided it’s the place we want to be and where we will stay,” Bud Riggs said. “We’re looking forward to it. Even though there’s not as many of us there this summer, it’s going to be a closer knit group because there’s less of us.”
Last spring, Flagg’s management asked an estimated 10 seasonal residents to remove their trailers to make way for six new park-owned cottage-style units. The new park models were to be rented for overnight, weekly or longer stays. York’s Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal ordered the park models removed, saying they did not fit the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle. Town code does not allow manufactured housing in the park.
Flagg’s appealed the order, and when it lost the case with the town’s Appeals Board, brought a lawsuit against McDougal and the town to York County Superior Court.
The sides reached an agreement this spring. Flagg’s had to remove the six units but could replace them with RVs that met the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle. Flagg’s is also able to attach a “Florida room” or “add-a-room” to the new units. The agreement allows Flagg’s to have RVs not to exceed 8½ feet in width in travel mode. The wheels need to stay on the RV, and must be capable of being transported without the assistance of a commercial truck, according to the consent judgment.
New units have been moved into the park, but are not yet set up for occupancy, according to those interviewed. McDougal said he has yet to inspect the new units to make sure they fit the standards of the order, but would do so soon. York’s case was precedent setting. McDougal said last year he received numerous phone calls from officials in other towns who wanted to know how York handled the issue.
Flagg’s RV Resort LLC is owned by Morgan RV Resorts LLC in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which owns numerous RV parks nationwide. Robert Moser, who heads Morgan, said the new units at Flagg’s are eight feet wide. The company has yet to decide whether to bring in more park-owned units, or seasonal recreational vehicles, to fill the vacant sites.
“There’s still a large group of seasonal residents in the park,” Moser said. “Obviously we wanted to work everything out with town. We haven’t finalized a plan. We’re trying to be good neighbors.”
Moser originally argued the park models moved into the park last year were accepted industrywide. Bill Garpow, executive director of the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA), said park-owned RVs are the trend as they generate more revenue than rental income from seasonal trailers that are privately owned. One Flagg’s resident interviewed last year said he paid an estimated $5,000 a year to park his RV there, compared to the park models, which rent for an estimated $1,400 a week.