If you’re in the market for a campground, then you already know there’s a lot of decision to make.
From designing the park, setting up the internet, and all of the costs associated, you have plenty going on. The last thing owners want to deal with is zoning regulations slowing down your park’s build.
So, how do you go about properly zoning an RV park?
We sat down with a few RV park owners and regional association members in order to put together a helpful guide of steps to consider.
How to Know If You Have Zoning Laws
There’s a chance your property could fall outside of any zoning laws, but it’s still best to be sure as there are many cases where businesses operating out of a physical location are required to have a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) confirming any building codes, zoning laws, and government regulations.
Here are a couple of ways to know what’s required for zoning an RV park in your area.
1. Join a campground association.
In general, it’s a good first step for new RV park owners to join their local campground association.
There are over 40 campground associations in the US and Canada, offering park owners:
- Advocacy at local and national levels.
- Industry expertise and discounts.
- Marketing tools and resources.
- Networking and support from other park owners.
Your local association has a good idea of what’s required for making sure your park is properly zoned.
2. Call your city or county office.
Laws for zoning a campground will vary from city to city. Calling the city zoning office is the simplest way to check on what’s required.
Profitable Venture, notes that while coastal cities like San Fransisco and San Diego have stringent laws, mid-western and southern states will likely offer more flexibility.
“For instance, Pulaski County in Kentucky still has no zoning laws. Even though the IRC and local zoning regulations are in place, a citizen can still apply for a variance through the local planning commission to build outside the existing codes” (Profitable Venture).
If there’s a zoning commissioner in your county, they will know if there are any environmental concerns, land restrictions, or what municipal services are available. Not to mention, they’re going to get involved in your project regardless, so it’s a good idea to consult them early on and gain them as an advocate.
How Get Approval for Zoning Verification
More often than not, zoning an RV park is a pretty straight forward process. One of our campground owners shared that it was as “simple as submitting an online form.”
In most cases requiring verification, you can submit a request to a building inspector or zoning board, and they’ll approve or deny based on whether or not your property meets local requirements. Also, conducting a land survey and inspections on your own is a good way to hedge your bets on getting approved.
Should you be denied, you can still appeal the decision with your local zoning board. This will serve as a court of sorts, and they will deliberate as to whether or not the zoning laws are too stringent in your particular situation. In this case, neighbors and local businesses will often be asked to weigh in and help give the board a better understanding as to whether or not this will benefit the local environment and economic climate.
For more granular examples, Profitable Venture has a list of specific zoning requirements for states including:
- New York
How to Change Zoning
In some cases, park owners can change zoning for a campground.
Changes can be approved if you can show substantial proof that your land has physiological, environmental, or geological conditions that qualify for zoning classification (assuming it benefits the local city or county).
In this situation, you would likely need to pay for an application, as well as be able to show a deed, plot plan, tax information, and proof of a land survey. From here, your request would go before a zoning board (similar to an appeal), and they would likely call upon neighbors and local businesses.
You can see a similar process for reference from Logan County, in Colorado.
Zoning Your Campground
While regulations differ across state and city lines, zoning doesn’t have to be a complicated process. To make zoning your RV park easier, make sure that you:
- Join a local campground association.
- Connect with your local city or county office.
- Conducted surveys and inspections.
- Submit an approval request with a local zoning board early on.
- Keep all necessary documents handy (taxes, plot plan, deed, etc).
Following these steps will save you headaches and countless hours, and allow you to get back to focusing on building out your RV park.
Need help getting your RV park off the ground, taking reservations? Campground Booking can help. Request a demo today!