When the Alleghany County Zoning Board in Covington, Virginia, decided to change the rules on where and how RV owners could park their rigs on their mountain vacation properties, they weren’t quite prepared for the backlash from local residents.
According to Shelly Mongold, with the Alleghany County Zoning Board, “it would regulate an individual camping on their property in AR zones, where camping is allowed,” reported WDBJ7.
Under the rule, if you live in an RV or trailer more than 30 days, you’d be required to get a zoning permit and conform to building codes. And if you have more than three campers on your property, you’d be legally running a campground and responsible for installing sewer and water lines among other things.
That has residents concerned. “Alleghany County is a recreation area,” said Chuck White, who lives in the county and keeps four campers on one of his properties in the summer. “You have a lot of people with hunting camps and other things that are gonna fall under this.”
But officials say going after most residents was never their intent. Instead, it was about planning for the future, according to Alleghany Co. Board of Supervisors Chair Stephen Bennett.
“In case we get an influx on the commercial side of recreation,” he said. “I think a lot of people mistook that to mean we were trying to regulate their own personal use on their own land. That’s not where we’re going with this.”
Faced with so much opposition, Bennett and the board sent the rule back to the planning commission for tweaking. He says they’ll try to make sure this rule only impacts commercial campgrounds, which right now have no definition under the law.