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Precedent-Setting Park Model Ruling Appealed

November 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Flagg’s RV Resort LLC has appealed to the York, Maine, County Superior Court a decision by the town ordering the company to remove six new units from the York Beach camper park.

According to a report by Seacoastonline.com, the appeal was filed Oct. 27 by Flagg’s attorney David Ordway of Saco.

No court date had been set as of press time, and filings by both parties are expected to take at least three months, according to a clerk with the court’s civil division.

Flagg’s moved the six new units, which it calls “park model recreational vehicles,” into the park in the spring.

In a June 28 Notice of Violation & Order for Corrective Action, Town Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal ordered Flagg’s to remove the units on the basis they were dwellings akin to manufactured housing. Zoning allows recreational vehicles, but prohibits manufactured housing in the park.

Flagg’s twice — both times unsuccessfully — appealed the order to the Board of Appeals, claiming the units were recreational vehicles. Flagg’s lost its first case in July and the second Oct. 26.

In the appeal to Superior Court, Ordway said the determination by the CEO and the actions of the Appeals Board were “arbitrary, capricious, and based on numerous errors of law and fact.”

Both McDougal and the Appeals Board erred when they determined “park models” do not meet the definition of a recreational vehicle under the town zoning ordinance, he said.

Flagg’s is asking the court to reverse the decision and order McDougal to withdraw his Notice of Violation & Order for Corrective Action; and remand the matter to the Appeals Board with instructions that it grant an appeal and make more detailed findings of fact, which constitute the basis of the board’s decision. Flagg’s also is costs for the legal action.

McDougal has said other towns are watching the case, which challenges a trend in the national RV industry to move the cottage-looking units into camper parks. The park models are recognized in the industry and by state and federal standards as recreational vehicles, according to Robert Moser, president of Morgan RV Resorts LLC, which owns Flagg’s.

Morgan owns numerous RV parks from Maine to Florida and the company has had no other problems with park models in other towns, according to Moser.

In York, the park models displaced 10 seasonal RVs privately owned by those who spent the season at Flagg’s.

One seasonal Flagg’s resident said he paid an estimated $5,000 a year to park his RV there, while the park models rent for an estimated $1,400 a week.

The town does not consider the park models to be easily moved, hence does not define them as RVs.

 

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