Lake Adventure, a private campground community near Milford in northeast Pennsylvania is challenging a township restriction that could prevent half of its 1,200 owners from using large RVs on their own property.
Dingman Township changed its definition of a recreational vehicle in June, ordering that the maximum size of RVs allowed in the township to be no more than 300 square feet, the Pocono Record reported. Problem is, at least 600 Lake Adventure property owners already have RVs larger than 300 square feet. Modern RVs can be as big as 430 square feet, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
The size restriction was originally included in the Dingman Township zoning ordinance. “The definition was deleted in the 1970s,” said Township Secretary Karen Kleist. She went through records to determine why the change was made but could not find a reason.
The township put the restriction back in the ordinance in June. There was a concern that larger rigs could strain the sewer system at Lake Adventure. More living space could bring more people and more toilet flushes.
Lake Adventure appealed the restriction, asking the township to change the rule or give the RV community a variance that would allow larger RVs.
Arguments in the matter were heard by the Dingman Zoning Hearing Board Tuesday night (Dec. 14).
Representing Lake Adventure, attorney Tammy Clause, told the board that owners will be deprived of significant property rights if not allowed to use their RVs in the community. She called Robert Ferri of Niclaus Engineering as an expert witness in wastewater treatment. Niclaus Engineering is currently upgrading the Lake Adventure sewer system.
Ferri performed tests on newer and older model 400-square-foot RVs and found the newer models are more efficient.
“Based on results of my investigation I am of the opinion these units are going to use less water and produce less sewage than older models,” Ferri said. But a test on the usage differences between 400-square-foot and 300-square-foot models was never conducted, as Dingman Solicitor John Klemeyer brought out in his questioning of Ferri.
By 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Ferri was still testifying and it was likely that the hearing would be continued to another date.