Developer Takes RV Park Battle to Higher Court
The developer who proposed opening a recreational vehicle facility in Bradford, R.I., is asking the state Supreme Court to review a lower court’s ruling that derailed the plans.
The Westerly Sun reported that Associate Justice Brian Stern of Washington County Superior Court upheld a decision by the Westerly zoning official, Elizabeth Burdick, who said that the plans developed by Larry LeBlanc’s Exco LLC called for what amounted to a mobile home park, a prohibited land use in the town.
Stern’s decision in September overturned a decision by the Zoning Board of Review, which had found in favor of the developer.
Were the Supreme Court to take the case and ultimately rule in Exco’s favor, it could pave the way for the company to develop a 225-unit facility on 54 acres.
The request to the state Supreme Court comes as town officials are considering an amendment to the town zoning regulations to prohibit camps and campgrounds in the town’s Rural Residential-60 and Aquifer Protection Overlay zones, the only areas where they are currently allowed. The Town Council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed amendment for Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. If approved, the amendment would not apply to Exco’s application because it predates the new zoning proposal, officials have said.
In a motion filed with the Supreme Court, Exco’s lawyer, Kelly Fracassa, argues that Stern and Burdick failed to properly consider and distinguish between state laws that define mobile and manufactured homes, and those that define recreational vehicles.
Exco “still intends to develop the property as an RV park, if possible, and if not, still intends to develop land in Westerly as an RV park,” Fracassa wrote in the motion to the Supreme Court.