Love Creek park raises issue of cabins in campgrounds

November 12, 2013

After attending the council's meeting Oct. 8, and then reading the minutes concerning the Love Creek RV Resort and Campground, I believe that there has been incomplete information provided to the council members regarding the permissibility of cabins. While the general heading in zoning ordinance chapter 115-172 H of the code of Sussex County does read as stated in your minutes, “Parks and campgrounds for mobile campers, tents, camp trailers, touring vans and the like”, cabins are omitted in paragraph 115-172 H(9), which states:

“With the exception of structures mentioned in subsection H(8) above, there shall be no other structure or manufactured home located on and campsite within a campground. All units to be used for the purpose of human habitation shall be tents, travel trailers, recreational vehicles and equipment manufactured specifically for camping purposes. For the purpose of a resident and/or office for the park manager, there may be one structure or manufactured home within the campground area.”

This fact was originally covered in the testimony of Mary Schrider-Fox, ESQ. at the council’s Feb. 19, meeting. If you research manufacturers of cabins or the new title “park models”, they are produced by manufactured home companies. Cabins are not equipment manufactured specifically for camping purposes, but a change in name only. Just because it is called a cabin doesn’t change what it really is. Peel back the exterior imitation log covering and it is a manufactured home. In chapter 71-6 (Definitions and Word Usage) under paragraph B, there is no definition for a cabin though, in fact, it structurally resembles a single-family dwelling or manufactured home. And as stated above, there can only be one structure or manufactured home within a campground. Therefore, a cabin is a structure (single-family dwelling or manufactured home) of which only one is permitted in a campground for the purpose of a residence and/or office for the park manager.

To say that cabins are permitted is not the same question as, whether they meet the Sussex County code. Yes, cabins are currently available in several campgrounds in which the cabins make up one to four percent of the total number of sites, but the Love Creek RV Resort and Campground has 82 units or 13 percent of their sites earmarked for cabins, which would be considered high-density development. As it usually happens, when something starts out small and is not checked, it will grow over time until it is too late to stop. Therefore, the citizens of Sussex County urger you to either change the code or enforce what is written. Furthermore, the existence of 82 cabins is in effect the equivalent of a small motel - which is also prohibited on the property according to the zoning ordinance. Clearly, one cabin is inconsistent with the code but a large group of 82 cabins is completely inappropriate - and illegal.

This is one of many issues that I have with the proposed RV park and campground adjacent to Love Creek, I ask that Sussex County Council consider this and all the other reasons citing problems with the development and to vote no to the zoning request that would allow construction of the project.

Dennis Fisher


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