Sussex officials say no to permanent structures in campground

Council: Massey's Landing park models must be moved after season
September 25, 2017

Story Location:
Long Neck Road
Millsboro  Delaware
United States

Sussex County Council did not back down from its original demand that park models in a campground resort in Long Neck must be removed from the site after the season.

The owners of The Resort at Massey's Landing say it’s too expensive to move 32 park model cottages to higher ground when the camping season ends, the first week in November. They wanted Sussex County officials to amend a condition placed on the project so the park models could stay in place.

At its Sept. 19 meeting, council voted 4-1 to deny an application filed by Massey’s Landing Properties LLC to amend the condition.

Council agreed with planning and zoning commissioners that permanent structures are not permitted in campgrounds.

In addition, the condition required moving the park models because of potential flooding in the area at the end of Long Neck Road.

Sussex County Planning and Zoning Director Janelle Cornwell said county code dictates that the only permanent structure permitted in a campground is a residence for the park manager.

In making the motion for denial, Councilman I.G. Burton, R-Lewes, said council made the determination that the park models must be removed from the property because a large area of the campground is in a flood zone.

In addition, he said, permitting the park model RVs to become permanent structures is tantamount to changing the use from a campground and RV park to a manufactured home park, which is beyond the scope of the conditional use.

“A manufactured home in this location must be elevated on a permanent, reinforced foundation with anchors and tie-downs,” he said. “The record contains no evidence to justify the revision of any condition of approval.”

He said inconvenience and cost do not warrant a change on the condition the owner agreed to when the application was first approved.

During council’s Aug. 29 public hearing, speaking on behalf of the resort, architect Jeff Clark said the owners paid more than $150,000 to tow the park models a few miles down Long Neck Road to store them for the winter and then move them back to the campground in the spring.

Councilman Rob Arlett, R-Frankford, voted in favor of the amendment. “I'm still uncertain if they are allowed to stay or not,” he said. “This is an issue throughout the county, but that's a separate discussion.”

He suggested that council consider a better definition for park models in county code.


Park models are trailer-type RVs

Park models – referred to as cottages and cottage super sites on the resort’s website – are rented daily or by the week. The 390-square-foot park models can sleep up to seven people. They are defined as trailer-type RVs designed to be transportable and used for temporary accommodations for camping or seasonal use.