Pa. Court Ruling Backs Park Model Use
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Dingman Township’s request for appeal regarding a provision in the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance after losing to Lake Adventure in the lower court earlier in 2013.
According to a press release, the provision in question amended the definition of a recreational vehicle to one “that does not require a special highway moving permit when transported…” and “a vehicular unit, mounted on wheels, of such size or weight as not to require special highway moving permits when drawn by motorized vehicles (8.5 feet wide maximum).”
This change to the definition restricted RV parks from having sites for park models. Lake Adventure Community Association, the property owner in this case, argued that RVs with slideouts are allowed on the property. The slideout RVs are eight-feet wide as they travel over the roadway, but once parked, and the slides are engaged, they are 12 feet wide, making the parked unit basically the same size as a park model. The only different is the size of the unit when being transported.
The Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association (PRVCA) and the RV Industry Association (RVIA) jointly filed an amicus brief in support of appellee, Lake Adventure Community Association Inc.
The Court of Common Pleas of Pike County ordered the provision invalid. After an appeal by the Dingman Township Board of Supervisors, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania also affirmed that the ordinance is invalid, and now the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied the township its request for appeal.
“This is another great win for campgrounds and the RV industry,” Robert Adams, owner of Gettysburg Campground and PRVCA’s campground director. “This decision helps ensure that park models and destination camping remain a growing segment of the industry.”
“I see the denial of the appeal from the higher court as genuine validation of the legal efforts put forth by Lake Adventure Community Association (LACA), PRVCA and RVIA on this matter,” John Soard, general manager of Fairmont Park Trailers and member of the RVIA Park Trailer Committee states. “The township has been relentless in their attempts to deny the LACA community the rights enjoyed by the rest of Pennsylvania relative to the current RV products, and in this case the higher court disagreed with the township. In communication with LACA board members, they expressed their appreciation for the backing the RV associations were able to provide.”
In recent news, the Dingman Board of Supervisors released a draft ordinance on operations of campsites and RV parks. The ordinance regulates the use and maintenance of property designated for camping, motorhomes, trailers, RVs and other temporary recreational housing. PRVCA will keep you informed of any developments