Anti-RV Sentiment Pops Up at Virginia Meeting

May 3, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Click here to watch a video, courtesy of WVIR-TV, Charlottesville, Va., about the following story.

How to include RVs in a new state park in the works in Virginia, or even whether to allow them in, was one of the points of discussion in a recent meeting about the park, Charlottesville Tomorrow reported.

The Charlottesville-Albemarle community continues to put its unique imprint on the plans for the future Biscuit Run State Park. A 27-member advisory committee held its third meeting Monday (May 2) after spending two hours touring parts of the 1,200-acre site located south of Charlottesville between U.S. Route 20 and Old Lynchburg Road.

Lonnie Murray is a member of the advisory committee and chair of the Albemarle County Natural Heritage Committee that advises the board of supervisors on land use decisions. Murray has advocated for the park to be used, in part, to provide opportunities to experience native plants and wildlife.

One “invasive species” he hopes will be close to extinct in the new state park is recreational vehicles. Murray advocated for establishing tent camping and RV’s in separate locations, and noted a more natural experience could bring different customers.

“If you don’t include RV’s, we will attract an entirely different sort of person to the park,” Murray said.

The committee discussed eliminating RVs all together as a use, but ultimately landed on language that would recommend development of a “tent-only campground.” RVs might be allowed in a “limited and separate” area.

Johnny Finch is president of the Virginia Association for Parks and a member of the advisory committee.“I am not opposed to separate facilities, but I do think it would be a travesty for a Virginia state park to discriminate against a very viable part of the park industry,” Finch said in an interview. “Some objections seem to be about generators, but here they would have electrical connections and water hook-ups.”

Janit Llewellyn, an environmental program planner at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the committee planning the park was generating “some really good input.” The committee’s recommendations will be shared at a public meeting on June 6.

“I am looking forward to a large public meeting,” said Llewellyn. “A lot of state parks are more rural, and we don’t get as much feedback.”

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