Clarendon officials debate zoning for travel trailers and campers

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 July 2015 at 12:00 am

CLAREDNDON – Residents had their say Tuesday evening regarding proposed amendments to Clarendon’s zoning ordinance regarding travel trailers, campers and recreational vehicles.

A public hearing on the changes was held just before the Town Board’s regular monthly meeting and three residents expressed concerns regarding several sections of the ordinance.

Charles Kinsey said Section D, which states that no more than two travel trailers or campers/recreational vehicles can be parked on a private lot at the same time might be too restrictive.

He noted homeowners who had the “good fortune” to have more than two campers/recreation vehicles could find themselves, “out of compliance.”

Mark Marsh and Eric Bradshaw both said they have difficulty complying with Sections E and F which require campers, trailers and recreational vehicles to be positioned in a side yard or rear yard of a lot and must comply with setbacks required for residential buildings.

Regarding his 33-foot camper, Marsh said, “There is no way to put it in a side or backyard.” He noted there are other residents, including an elderly neighbor, who have small lots that don’t allow for camper/recreational vehicle storage in side or rear yards.

Bradshaw explained that the arrangement of his property would make it impossible to comply with setback requirements.

Town Board members did not vote on the changes. They agreed to add wording that would give the town’s zoning officer the authority to issue non-compliance letters when hardship issues arise.

Another public hearing (if it proves necessary) was scheduled on that change for the board’s Aug. 18 regular meeting which will be held at the Clarendon Historical Society.

There were no comments regarding changes to the law. Amendments proposed include forbidding the use of travel trailers, campers and recreational vehicles in lieu of a permanent residence; a 30-day limit per calendar year for occupying campers and recreational vehicles on a private lot on an overnight basis.

Other regulations state that campers and recreational vehicles occupied on an overnight basis must be equipped with self-contained potable water and sanitary sewage collection; “gray water” or sewage cannot be drained or dumped from any camper except into collection vehicles or septic disposal systems approved by the county health department; and trailers, campers and recreational vehicles must maintain and display a current license/registration/inspection as required by the State of New York.

Clarendon Town Supervisor Richard Moy said the amendments will help the town address a number of “neighborhood issues,” regarding the use of campers and recreational vehicles. “There are lots of issues,” he said.