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Local News

Kendall County officials looking into changing campground regulations

YORKVILLE – Some changes might be coming for Kendall County recreational vehicle and campground regulations following recent issues with one Yorkville-area campground.

Members of the Kendall County Board's Planning, Building and Zoning Committee agreed during a meeting Monday, Sept. 9 to forward a 1983 county ordinance to County State's Attorney Eric Weis for review and advisement.

Committee member Elizabeth Flowers was absent from the meeting.

Matt Prochaska, chairman of the committee, said he requested ordinance be considered during the committee meeting because the 1981 special use permit for Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground in Oswego Township said it must abide by all state and local laws. Per Weis's advisement, he said, he would like to see what the county can and cannot change in the ordinance to at least better align it with state law.

"And if we are allowed to change and apply these to the existing campgrounds, I'd like to then go back and re-visit an ordinance that is over 30 ... years old," Prochaska said.

Prochaska said some of those changes may include how long someone can reside at a campground and the months of operation of local campgrounds. County officials said the changes would also apply to Dickson Valley Camp and Retreat Center near Newark, Camp Quarryledge near Oswego and PNA Youth Camp near Plano.

County officials said any changes that could be made within the ordinance would not apply to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Millbrook. They said the campground is governed by a court order after the County Board initially denied its special use permit in the early 1990s.

The update comes after county officials called for a full inspection of Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground in light of several recent events that happened at the campgrounds, including an apparent hit and run, an aggravated assault involving the unlawful use of a weapon, a crash involving a car and a train and a residential burglary.

Tom Tanner, owner of the campground, has accused the sheriff's office of unfairly targeting him and said he is in compliance with his county-issued special use permit. Tanner was not at the Monday, Sept. 9 committee meeting.

Prochaska said the potential changes to the ordinance aren't meant to target any specific campground. He said it's best practice to review any county ordinances that may not have been reviewed in a long time.

"But the Hide-A-Way Lakes issue brought that specific regulation to our attention," Prochaska said.

In related news, Prochaska said the annual inspection for Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground is scheduled to happen this week.

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