YORKVILLE – Kendall County officials are still looking into changing recreational vehicle and campground regulations – but it might not directly apply to already-existing ones within the county as originally expected.
The County Board's planning, building and zoning committee voted, 5-0, to approve a text amendment to the county's zoning ordinance that would amend the RV park and campground zoning regulations and to repeal similar regulations from 1983 during their Monday, Aug. 31 special meeting. County Board and committee member Elizabeth Flowers attended the meeting remotely.
County Board member Matt Prochaska, who chairs the committee, said Monday the vote included the repeal of the county's 1983 regulations and adjusting the county's zoning regulations to more clearly address regulations for RV park and campgrounds in the county. He said the new zoning ordinance amendments would not apply to existing campgrounds within the county unless they acquire a special use permit or make drastic changes to their special use permits.
"These would only apply to future campgrounds or if there is an adjustment to the special use of a current campground," Prochaska said. "If a campground comes in and wants to change their special use, they'll have to agree to the new regulations."
Prochaska said potential special use changes might include campgrounds wanting to build brand new structures on their property that weren't previously approved. He said area campgrounds also would be subject to those proposed regulations if they were in violation of their special use permits, should that apply.
According to committee meeting documents, some proposed amendment changes include the prohibition of recreational vehicles, trailer tents or other locations within a recreational vehicle park or campground being used as a permanent place of abode for residents. RV park or campground employees also would be required to maintain a register containing a record of all campers, picnickers and visitors in the park or campground and for zoning, health and KenCom officials having the power to inspect the register upon request, according to the proposed amendments.
The update comes after county officials started reviewing the 1983 regulations in September 2019, mainly to re-visit more than 30 year old county code and for the county to apply lessons learned over the years, Prochaska said. The county's state's attorney had come back and advised zoning officials that the best course of action would be to just update the county's existing zoning ordinance to include RV parks and campgrounds, as opposed to having a stand-alone set of regulations for those sites, to avoid legal issues down the road, he said.
County officials had said previously proposed changes to the 1983 regulations would have apply to Dickson Valley Camp and Retreat Center near Newark, Camp Quarryledge near Oswego and PNA Youth Camp near Plano. Per Prochaska's comments, that would no longer be the case if these amendments make it into the books.
County officials had said Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground in Oswego Township would not have been subject to the 1983 regulations to begin with, since their special use permit was awarded by the county in 1981 and that effectively grandfathered them into subsequent regulations.
County officials also previously called for a full inspection of Hide-A-Way Lakes Campground about a year ago in light of several events within the last couple of years that happened at the campgrounds, including an apparent hit and run.
The Yorkville area campground was cited for more than 50 violations after their annual inspection from about a year ago. However, county zoning officials later determined in November 2019 the local campground had been in compliance with its 1981 special use permit.
Prochaska said county officials expect the regulations to go before the County Board for a vote sometime in November.