Agency’s Ruling Dictates Park Model Removal

April 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Agency’s Ruling Dictates Park Model Removal 

The owner of Robin Hood Village Resort in Union, Wash., has decided to remove four permanent recreational park trailers, or park models, and resume renting spaces for traditional RVs while his legal appeal moves forward, the Kitsap Sun reported.

Darin Barry is opting to remove the units after the state Shorelines Hearings Board ruled that he must obtain a shorelines permit for the trailers, according to his attorney, Jack Hanemann. The board also upheld a $12,000 fine issued by the Washington Department of Ecology.

Robin Hood Village Resort leased RV spaces near the edge of Hood Canal before the existence of the state’s Shorelines Management Act, so the development was “grandfathered in” and could continue operations. In May 2011, Barry brought in four recreational park trailers, which are structures built on an RV chassis with usable wheels, but they appear more like a small house.

Because the trailers are considered RVs by the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, they should not be considered a change in use or intensity, Barry said. In fact, leaving the trailers in place all the time would have less impact on the environment than the comings and goings of RVs, he argued.

But the shorelines board did not agree. The permanent placement of the units constituted a more intensive use, the board ruled, and the addition of landscaping, skirting and permanent stairs constituted an expansion of the development. Those changes triggered the need for a permit, the board said.

Hanemann said Barry discontinued use of the trailers while the matter was pending before the shorelines board, and now he will remove the units. But he still believes the trailers should be allowed on the site without a permit, his attorney added, and Barry will appeal the case to Mason County Superior Court.

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RVIA Park Trailer Subcommittee Sets Meeting

March 1, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVIA Park Trailer Subcommittee Sets Meeting 

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) newly formed Recreation Park Trailer (RPT) Technical Subcommittee will hold its inaugural meeting on April 16 in South Bend, Ind.

The new group has the responsibility of monitoring and updating all chapters within the ANSI A119.5 and NEC Article 552 standards for recreation park trailers, also known as park models. It will also review and approve necessary RPT Handbook Updates that will be forwarded to RVIA’s Standards Steering Committee and the RPT Committee for final review and approval, according to a news release.

The RPT Technical Subcommittee is chaired by Jon Walters of Cavco Industries Inc. Committee members include Gary Duncan, Forest River Inc., Park Model Division; Jerry Glenn, Kropf Manufacturing Co.; Jerry Miller, Woodland Park Inc.; Bob Phillips, Dutchmen Manufacturing Inc.; Jimmy Sellers, Chariot Eagle Inc.; and John Soard, Fairmont Homes Inc.

At their first meeting, the subcommittee will discuss the scope of the group, review the status of code cycles for the ANSI A119.5 and NEC 552 standards and review various code change proposals and technical updates.

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RVIA Taking Steps to Better Define Park Models

February 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on RVIA Taking Steps to Better Define Park Models 

Matt Wald

Editor’s Note: The following story is excerpted from the February issue of Woodall’s Campground Management examining park models, cabins and yurts.

A survey the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) commissioned last summer through Precision Research, an Arizona-based firm that has done previous work for RVIA, revealed some broad misunderstandings or confusion about some aspects of the park trailer industry.

The firm surveyed 400 RVers and 400 non-RVers. Results showed consumers in general don’t recognize the phrases “recreational park trailer” or “destination camping” but have a far better understanding of phrases such as “park models” and “seasonal camping,” Matt Wald, the RVIA’s recreational park trailer executive director, told WCM.

To help clear up the confusion, the RVIA’s ad hoc Destination Camping Committee that commissioned the study has recommended to the RVIA board that it adopt the phrases park model and seasonal camping and drop the other terms. The board will take up the recommendations at its March meeting, Wald said.

In the meantime, the Destination Camping Committee and the Recreational Park Trailer committees, whose names may be changed pending the RVIA board action, won’t be meeting again until Committee Week in June, Wald said.

Trough Not As Deep As Commonly Thought

The decline that the park model industry has sustained since reaching an all-time high of 10,143 wholesale shipments in 2006 is not as deep as it is often portrayed, Wald pointed out to WCM. Shipments have tailed off each year since then and have not topped 4,000 in either of the last two years.

However, what was counted as a park model in previous years creates a proverbial “apples and oranges” dilemma.

Up until 2007, not only was the economy stronger than it is today, but also until then all trailer-type units that measured between 320 and 400 square feet were counted as a park model. Starting in 2008, RVIA allowed travel trailers to be built up to 400 square feet rather than limiting them to 320 square feet. Since then, many units that would have been counted as 8 ½-foot-wide park models are now rightfully counted as travel trailers.

“Overall, it looks like a desperate fall,” Wald said. “But if you look just at the over-8½-foot-wide-park models, it still is down but not nearly as much as the overall number would seem to indicate. In fact, it is right in line with other RV types.”

And Wald and the RVIA report some success in tackling the task of accurate record keeping to track wholesale shipments of park models. Until July 2012, shipments were tracked by the RPTIA. Figures for the first half of 2012 were spotty and incomplete and, according to Wald, understate actual production figures. For that reason, monthly RVIA wholesale shipment reports do not provide a year-over-year tabulation for park models for the entire year.

But Wald has coaxed park model manufacturers to go back in their 2012 records to try to recreate a better accounting of their production for the first half of the year. Once better accounting is complete, Wald hopes RVIA will be able soon to report a more complete picture for comparison purposes.

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Report: Park Models Poised for Revival in 2013

February 12, 2013 by · Comments Off on Report: Park Models Poised for Revival in 2013 

The cover of the Woodall’s Campground Management February 2013 issue focusing on park models, cabins and yurts. This photo is of a Cavco Industries Inc. park model project in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Editor’s Note: The following story is excerpted from the February issue of Woodall’s Campground Management reporting on trends in the park model, cabin and yurt industry.

This year might be the year that the recreational park trailer industry snaps out of its multi-year slump.

At least that’s what the major manufacturers are hoping for and telling Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) for its annual park model, cabins and yurts issue. And to what extent the nation’s campgrounds bolster their covered shelter inventory will go far in determining the success these OEMs experience in 2013.

The major campground chains, Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) and Leisure Systems Inc. (LSI), each reported a hearty demand for covered shelter in their parks in 2012, which encouraged the park model OEMs as they begin to fill the pipeline for 2013. KOA said deluxe cabin rentals, a key point of emphasis right now, was up more than 20% in 2012 with registration revenues growing 19.5% higher than in 2011.

LSI reported that rental unit revenue rose 17% in 2012 from 2011. Double-digit growth has been recorded the past three years.

“Some people (parks) are not really taking advantage of this,” LSI President Robert Schutter said late in the year. “This is an area that we can exploit for many years. We have not maxed out.”

Builders are taking a variety of steps to grow their market share in both the campground and retail marketplace.

OEM Reports

Industry leader Breckenridge, a division of Thor Industries Inc., the RV industry’s No. 1 manufacturer, is stepping up its production of rental units for the campground industry.

The company, which captured more than 25% of the retail park model market in 2012, has taken many steps to broaden the appeal of its 12-wide Extendable and Perfect Cottage series, explained Bob Phillips, general manager of Nappanee, Ind.-based manufacturer, which is a preferred provider for KOA and LSI, two of its two largest customers.

“What we’re trying to do is anchor the market we’re in,” said Phillips. “Breckenridge has always been a leader in the 12-wide market. I don’t think we’re going to venture much outside that.”

Forest River Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, the nation’s No. 2 RV builder and among the five largest park model makers, has done a total overhaul of its park model offerings for 2013 in its high line Quail Ridge and entry-level Summit product line.

The company has introduced four new floorplans so far and revamped its interior decors for these 12-wide models. Many formerly optional features are now standard on the Quail Ridge line and may be available on Summit products.

Interior doors are now stained to match the cabinets. New cabinet designs and styles, new kitchen backsplashes and hidden hinges for cabinets were introduced. Cabinets now have pulls instead of handles and ball-bearing glides. Kitchen cabinet and pantry shelves are now adjustable. Countertop choices were expanded. Pullout trash cans are now inside the pantries.

New window treatments feature hard valances and give a more upscale look. Accent furniture was updated.

On the outside, new vinyl siding colors were added. Shutters have been added to entry doors and loft windows.

Click here to read the entire article, offering profiles on other OEMs along with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) inclusion of park models.

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Duncan to Head Forest River’s Park Model Unit

February 5, 2013 by · Comments Off on Duncan to Head Forest River’s Park Model Unit 

Forest River Inc. announced the appointment of Gary Duncan as general manager of the company’s park model division, effective Feb. 1.

According to a press release, former General Manager Jim Foltz will continue with the division, assuming other responsibilities.

Duncan joined Forest River’s park model sales team in November of 2011 and has been instrumental in the redesign of the entire product line, as well as executing new initiatives for product enhancements and the marketing of park models.

Duncan has a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Michigan, with 15 years of varied experiences in the RV industry. Prior to the RV Industry, he served in a variety of sales and engineering capacities with Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

Duncan can be reached at (574) 264-2513 (office), or via e-mail at .


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Park Models Make Splash at RVIA Trade Show

December 19, 2012 by · Comments Off on Park Models Make Splash at RVIA Trade Show 

Skyline's Shore Park

A perceptible change was afoot Nov. 27-29 at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) 50th Annual National RV Trade Show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville: The prevalence of park models set up among the sprawling 730,000 square feet of traditional motorized and towable RVs.

Not since the mid-1990s when they parted company with RVIA had the park trailer manufacturers been such a serious factor as Louisville Show exhibitors. Now that their Georgia-based Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) has been shelved and they’ve been welcomed back as RVIA members, a total of 10 park trailer builders were displaying 2013 product at the Louisville Show.

Among them were Skyline Corp., Forest River Inc.’s Park Model Division, Athens Park Homes/Champion, Breckenridge, Chariot Eagle, DNA Enterprises (Canterbury), Dutch Park Homes, Fairmont Homes, Kropf Industries Inc. and Woodland Park.

“The feeling was very positive. It goes to the whole notion they are part of the overall RVIA family again,” said Matt Wald, RVIA’s recreational park trailer executive director. “Both psychologically and from the traffic flow, they felt it was a good deal for them.”

RVIA created a new membership category in July for park trailer builders, and, by year’s end, 18 manufacturers representing about 95% of annual park trailer production had joined the Reston, Va.-based trade association. Two other applications are currently pending. “We had anticipated having 15 members,” said Wald. “We have exceeded our expectations. Everybody is happy about that.”

All but two of the new members were affiliated with RPTIA, which still exists in name only. “A couple of OEMs are still not in the RVIA family, but we would love to have them aboard,” said Wald, noting that there’s a new page on the association’s website pertaining to park trailers with a link to annual shipment figures and other information. “Some are waiting to see if this ‘marriage’ works before investing in it. We think it is a value proposition they can’t stay away from.”

Skyline’s display was as prominent as any at the Louisville Show. In fact, Skyline, headquartered in Elkhart, Ind., has opted to resume park model production at its manufactured housing plants in Wisconsin and Oregon based on the dealer response to its Louisville Show park model exhibit, reports Mike Scheid, division general manager of Skyline’s Leola, Pa., plant.

Skyline showed a Shore Park-brand unit built in a manufactured housing plant and using a host of manufactured housing componentry like residential-style drywall, said Scheid, adding that his plant picked up eight to 10 new dealers at Louisville and business looks to be up 25% to 35% again this year. Skyline’s Canadian business also is growing.

Forest River Park Model Division, also based in Elkhart, showed three new park model floorplans at Louisville. Even though the company’s display was in “an obscure corner of the northwest wing,” dealers came to buy. “Our product changes were well received,” reports account representative Gary Duncan. “Dealers came with a purpose.”

Forest River has targeted its marketing toward campgrounds, a hospitality arena that Wald calls “one of the hottest growth areas” for park models because of the fact that so many campgrounds are buying and leasing these units – many of them with rustic aesthetics — to first-time campers and others without RVs in what amounts to a burgeoning “cabin” style of accommodation.

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Cavco Reports Drop in Sales, Earnings For 2Q

November 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Cavco Reports Drop in Sales, Earnings For 2Q 

Cavco Industries Inc. today (Nov. 1) announced financial results for the second quarter and first six months ended Sept. 30, of its fiscal year 2013.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 totaled $110 million, down 15.3% from $130 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012. Net income for the fiscal 2013 second quarter was $2.7 million compared to $3.2 million reported in the same quarter one year ago.

Net income per share based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding for the quarter was 18 cents, versus basic and diluted net income per share the previous year of 24 cents.

For the first six months of fiscal 2013, net sales totaled $228.8 million versus $229 million for the comparable prior year period. Net income for the first half of fiscal 2013 was $2.1 million compared to $11.9 million last year. Net income for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2011, included one-half (or approximately $11 million) of the bargain purchase gain recognized from the Palm Harbor transaction, which closed on April 23, 2011. This bargain purchase gain allocation was consistent with Cavco’s ownership percentage of Palm Harbor.

For the six months ended Sept. 30, 2012, net income per share based on basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding was 30 cents versus basic and diluted net income per share of $1.73 and $1.72, respectively, for the prior year period.

Referring to the fiscal 2013 second quarter results, Joseph Stegmayer, chairman, president and CEO, said, “Net sales were lower for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013 compared to the same quarter in the prior year for various reasons. These include fewer homes sold this quarter, lower average sales prices from a product mix skewed toward lower price-point homes, and competitive pricing pressures. Adversely impacting the number of homes sold was a larger proportion of internally financed wholesale sales, up 49.8% this quarter versus the second quarter last year, resulting in delayed recognition of the related revenue, consistent with applicable accounting principles. The company also modestly grew the proportion of factory sales to company-owned stores, which defers revenue recognition until the home sale process to the consumer is complete.”


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Pinnacle Park Homes Reporting Sales Increase

September 21, 2012 by · Comments Off on Pinnacle Park Homes Reporting Sales Increase 

Park model builder Pinnacle Park Homes Inc. reports increased sales for 2012, according to a press release.

“We are proud to say that our year-to-date unit volume is up 15% over 2011,” said Andy Davis, sales manager for the Ochlocknee, Ga.-based company. “But what is even better is that our sales dollars are up 30%. With new floors and more choices available, consumers are buying. Combine that with the fact that financing has been easier to obtain, it is not surprising that our numbers show an increase.”

Owner Randy Stewart Jr. added, “We are predicting that our third quarter numbers will show a net growth of 20% in unit sales and 33% in dollar volume states. This is based on current activity, but we would not be surprised to pass both levels when the quarter ends in two weeks.”

For more information visit

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Heartland Launches Fairfield Destination Trailer

September 12, 2012 by · Comments Off on Heartland Launches Fairfield Destination Trailer 

Heartland's Fairfield destination trailer

Responding to dealer input and growing consumer demand, Heartland Recreational Vehicles LLC announced the launch of its all-new Fairfield destination trailer during the Sept. 18-21 Elkhart County RV Open House.

“Our team is very excited for the Fairfield launch,” said General Manager Nick Eppert. “This new product will combine the floorplans, features and price points that dealers have been asking for.”

Chris Hermon, president of the Elkhart, Ind.-based builder, noted, “Many of our dealers have urged Heartland to become a strong player in the destination trailer business. Nick and his product team have focused on making Fairfield the ultimate destination trailer. We are thrilled with the results and are anticipating a successful debut at the Open House.”

Initially, the Fairfield will be available in seven 40-plus-foot floorplans, all featuring wide-body construction and a standard atrium design fiberglass cap. Units will also be equipped with double and triple sliderooms.

Heartland stressed a residential feel and functionality in Fairfield’s interior décor, set off by upscale cabinetry, upholsteries and accents. The kitchen area is appointed with a free standing range, 18-cubic-foot residential refrigerator and a residential microwave.

“Price points will be key with the Fairfield,” Eppert said. “A host of available options will allow dealers to order Fairfield destination trailers to fit their markets’ needs.”

Heartland will be showing product at the Open House as part of parent Thor Industries Inc.’s massive display area at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. For more information on the Fairfield destination trailer contact Eppert at (574) 266-8726 or


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Woodland Park Plans September Open House

August 2, 2012 by · Comments Off on Woodland Park Plans September Open House 

Park model builder Woodland Park Inc. will be holding its Open House Showcase Sept. 18-21 at its manufacturing headquarters in Middlebury, Ind.

According to a press release, the dates will coincide with the 5th Annual Elkhart County RV Open House, set to run Sept. 17-21 throughout the industry’s manufacturing hub.

“We are excited to spend this time with all of our dealers and their staff and look forward to spending more personal time with all of them,” said Daryle Lambright, North American sales manager.

Lambright said that Woodland Park would be showing models for both the Canadian and U.S. markets, including the “largest display of custom-built park models in Elkhart County.”

He added, “We’ll feature exciting new residential options in décor, furniture, appliances and wood finishes, touches that give Woodland Park homes that contemporary designer feel. The dealers will also have the opportunity to meet our staff, ask product questions and learn more about Woodland Park products and how they can thoroughly satisfy a dealer’s clientele.”

Hours for the open house are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Woodland Park will also be conducting sales training seminars for dealers on alternating schedules and a dealer’s luncheon is slated for Sept. 18 at 11 a.m.


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Park Models Offer Doable Second-Home Option

July 16, 2012 by · Comments Off on Park Models Offer Doable Second-Home Option 

When Cleyardis Yilmaz joined Thousand Trails two years ago and gained access to all of the company’s recreational vehicle resorts and campgrounds in North America, she didn’t know it would change her life.

According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot, the eighth-grade English teacher visited a campground in Orlando, Fla., in 2010, rented a cabin and discovered she enjoyed the vacation so much that she wanted to find a campground closer to her Virginia home in Lakeview.

She not only found Outdoor World Williamsburg, just off Interstate 64 near Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Yorktown and Jamestown, but she also found a second home – called a “park model” cottage – that she was able to purchase.

The 28-foot-long unit sits smack dab in the middle of the RV resort, close to the indoor and outdoor pool, adult hot tub and pickleball and miniature golf courses.

Yilmaz makes the 45-minute-to-an-hour drive every weekend to visit her unit, tend to her plants on the deck and partake in the park’s amenities.

“I’m enjoying the adult lounge,” Yilmaz said recently during one of the hottest days of the summer. “I’m working on a puzzle right now.”

While these units are nothing new to the outdoor recreation industry, more and more resorts are selling them and offering sites on their properties where people, like Yilmaz, can get away and own a second home without shelling out a lot of money.

“In the last few years, with the economy being what it is, it’s become – for Middle America – an affordable second-home option,” said David Gorin, executive director of the Virginia Campground Association (VCA).

The park models – called that because they can be parked anywhere – also are know as “recreational, transportable homes,” “park trailers,” “cabins” or “cottages.”

Legally, park models are recreational vehicles, Gorin said, and always have a place in RV parks. But they mainly stay put.

Basically, they are suites of no more than 400 square feet that come in all kinds of configurations, Gorin said.

“In many parks, they are there as rental units,” Gorin said. “If you want to go to an RV park, and you don’t own an RV, you have an option of renting a cabin or park model.”

To read the entire article in the Virginian-Pilot click here.


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RVIA Officially Welcomes Park Trailer Members

July 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on RVIA Officially Welcomes Park Trailer Members 

First RVIA standards plant inspection of a recreational park trailer manufacturing plant

After reaching an agreement in March with the Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association (RPTIA) to represent recreational park trailer manufacturers as members, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) officially welcomed 16 park trailer companies as members on July 2.

According to a news release, RPTIA significantly scaled back operations and members services on the same day as part of the two-year trial period stipulated in the agreement.

“The park trailer industry is excited to be back in the RVIA fold. The RVIA standards, inspection and seals process, combined with phenomenal PR and government affairs capabilities are what compelled us to keep working to find a place at the RVIA table. It’s a great day,” said Fairmont Homes’ John Soard, chairman of the newly-formed RVIA Recreational Park Trailer Committee.

Recreational park trailer manufacturer members of RVIA are now fully integrated members of the organization with all the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as manufacturers of any other RV type.

As a result, the first RVIA standards plant inspection of a recreational park trailer manufacturing plant took place on July 3 as RVIA inspectors fanned out across the country to inspect park trailer manufacturers to the ANSI A119.5 standard, which in turn allows RVIA park trailer members to affix the new RVIA A119.5 seal to the units they produce.

Park trailer members are served within RVIA by a full-time dedicated executive director, Matt Wald, who spent the last eight years in the RVIA government affairs department. “It has taken a lot of work over the past three months to integrate our new park trailer members into RVIA. But that effort was just the beginning. Next up will be strategic planning, where we will map out the priorities and opportunities for the park trailer segment of the RV industry. And once we’ve planned the work, we will work that plan,” said Wald.

According to RVIA President Richard Coon, “This is a classic win-win. RVIA is made stronger with the inclusion of park trailer manufacturers, and the park trailer OEMs will be very well served by RVIA.”


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California KOA to Begin Selling ‘Deluxe Cabins’

June 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on California KOA to Begin Selling ‘Deluxe Cabins’ 

Cavco park model

Through a new partnership with Cavco Industries Inc. and Reliable Home Solutions, the Stockton Delta KOA will begin selling park model cabins at its site in Lido, Calif. According to a press release, a dozen units are currently being sold at prices ranging from the mid-$40,000 to the mid-$60,000 range.

The Stockton Delta KOA is the first KOA campground in the western United States to sell the new Deluxe Cabins. “We think they’re going to sell like hotcakes,” said Scott Haar, general manager of the 400-site Stockton KOA.

“Having a vacation cottage at the Stockton KOA is going to be very attractive for people who are looking for affordable ways to have a weekend getaway cabin or vacation cottage,” added Gene Davis, president of Sacramento-based Reliable Home Solutions, which is marketing the units on behalf of KOA and Cavco.

The 400-square-foot park models are manufactured by Phoenix-based Cavco, which has been building park model cabins and cottages for use as private vacation cottages in campgrounds for nearly 20 years.

While park models have been used as vacation cottages in campgrounds throughout much of Arizona, Texas and Florida as well as the Midwest and East Coast regions, they are just now being introduced in campgrounds in the West, and even then mostly as rental accommodations.

“We think the market is ready for this,” Davis said, adding that people are already bringing their friends to see the demonstration park model that was recently set up at the Stockton KOA.

Consumers who purchase the units will also need to pay a lease fee to keep their units at the KOA. Annual site lease costs range from $900 to $1,900 for the first year, but will jump to $3,960 to $5,400 for each year thereafter, Haar said, adding that the rent will include water, sewer, Wi-Fi and trash pickup as well as security at the park.

The Stockton KOA has 400 campsites, including 21 Deluxe Cabins and three Airstream trailers.

For more information about Stockton KOA, visit


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Park Model Controversy Over at Maine Resort

June 7, 2012 by · Comments Off on Park Model Controversy Over at Maine Resort 

Life is almost back to normal at Flagg’s RV Resort, as seasonal residents return to the York, Maine, RV park.

SeacoastOnline reported that there are an estimated 30 recreational vehicles in the York Beach campground that once held more than 80 RVs, and six new “park models” have replaced the larger, cottage-looking units the town ordered removed last year. Amid the controversy, many campers left Flagg’s, moving to Camp Eaton in York, or north to a campground in other areas.

“I’m one of the 30 that stayed the course,” said Pat Lee, who is back at Flagg’s with her husband Jack Lee. “I’m optimistic. I’ve been in the park 50-plus years. Seasons come, seasons go. I think this too shall pass.”

Last spring, Flagg’s management asked an estimated 10 seasonal residents to remove their trailers to make way for six new park-owned cottage-style units. The new park models were to be rented for overnight, weekly or longer stays.

York’s Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal ordered the park models removed, saying they did not fit the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle. Town code does not allow manufactured housing in the park.

Flagg’s appealed the order, and when it lost the case with the town’s Appeals Board, brought a lawsuit against McDougal and the town to York County Superior Court.

The sides reached an agreement this spring. Flagg’s had to remove the six units but could replace them with RVs that met the town’s definition of a recreational vehicle.

Flagg’s is also able to attach a “Florida room” or “add-a-room” to the new units. The agreement allows Flagg’s to have RVs not to exceed 8½ feet in width in travel mode. The wheels need to stay on the RV, and must be capable of being transported without the assistance of a commercial truck, according to the consent judgment.

New units have been moved into the park, but are not yet set up for occupancy, according to those interviewed. McDougal said he has yet to inspect the new units to make sure they fit the standards of the order, but would do so soon. York’s case was precedent setting. McDougal said last year he received numerous phone calls from officials in other towns who wanted to know how York handled the issue.

Flagg’s RV Resort LLC is owned by Morgan RV Resorts LLC in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which owns numerous RV parks nationwide. Robert Moser, who heads Morgan, said the new units at Flagg’s are eight feet wide. The company has yet to decide whether to bring in more park-owned units, or seasonal recreational vehicles, to fill the vacant sites.

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Wyoming County Still Backing Park Model Ban

May 22, 2012 by · Comments Off on Wyoming County Still Backing Park Model Ban 

Teton County commissioners in western Wyoming will pay an attorney $150 per hour to oversee a Buffalo Valley property owner’s appeal of a land-use ruling.

Commissioners agreed to hire attorney Mike Barton to handle an appeal hearing for Buffalo Valley RV Resort owner Harry Washut, who contends he should be allowed to bring recreational park trailers onto his property without special approval from county planners, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported. Even if Washut prevails, commissioners said they are not sure he would be allowed to bring recreational park trailers to his property.

Washut is challenging a decision made in March by Planning Director Jeff Daugherty that recreational park trailers are unlike other recreational vehicles in that they are semi-permanent. Recreational park trailers or park models are hard-sided units that sit on a chassis. They are hauled to campgrounds, where they are connected to electric and sewer services.

Commissioners questioned Washut’s appeal because a new set of rules has been put in place that regulate the use of recreational park trailers at campgrounds. Washut asked Daugherty to review the use of recreational park trailers under an old set of rules, which commissioners said would no longer apply to his project.

Attorney Melissa Owens, who is representing Washut, argued that the units are similar to other recreational vehicles and that Washut should be allowed to bring the recreational trailers to his property, regardless of changes to the county’s land-use rules. Owens and attorney David DeFazio filed an appeal in April.

Commissioners agreed to stop planning staff from forcing Washut to remove three recreational park trailers he already has at his campground.

Planning staff said the units were illegally brought to the campground. They held off taking action while Washut had a pending application. When he withdrew it, county staff sent a letter to Washut that threatened legal action if he did not remove the units.

In return, Washut’s attorney promised that he wouldn’t bring any more trailers to the property while the appeal was pending.

Washut has been trying to bring recreational park trailers to his property for two years. He went through several reviews and meetings with county staff and elected officials but was unable to secure approval of his request, through which he initially asked to bring more than a hundred recreational park trailers to his property. Washut faced a stiff challenge from a neighboring ranch owner, who hired a former state attorney general to oppose Washut.

Commissioners were nearing a decision on the project in April, but Washut withdrew his application, saying that he did not believe he needed special permission from the county to bring the units to his land. Washut is the only campground owner still fighting with the county about the trailers.

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