December 6, 2022

Springswines

The Tour And Travel Enthusiasts

Torrington RV park plan wins zone change approval

3 min read
Torrington RV park plan wins zone change approval

TORRINGTON — A plan for a new RV park is moving through its approval process with the city’s land use boards and has gained a zoning amendment for the property on Klug Hill Road.

The applicants and owners, Lelah Campo and Daniel Mahieu, also own and operate Cozy Hills Campground in Bantam, a campground for tents and campers as well as an RV park, where RV owners can rent sites for the week or the season.

Camp and Mahieu approached Torrington’s Planning & Zoning Commission in January, requesting a zoning amendment for the 365 acres of land on Klug Hill Road for a 100-site RV park. They bought it from Gerald Zordan this year.


Members of the commission approved the zone amendment request, which was to amend Section 6.7, Mobile Homes and Recreational Vehicles to allow the project. The couple reasoned that the city’s regulations governing outdoor recreational facilities are antiquated and should be updated to reflect national campground standards.

Campo and Mahieu’s attorney, Charles Ebersol, said the campground proposal is strictly for recreational vehicles, not manufactured homes.

At the P&Z’s March meeting, Mahieu and Campo provided details on the project’s driveway entrances, RV locations, how the campsites would be used, and operations at the site.

The Klug Hill Farm campground would be “upscale,” Campo said.

“Cozy Hills is already upscale, but we’re excited about working with a property from scratch,” she said at the time. “This will be a legacy piece, an upscale, resort-level property with 100 sites.”

In January, Campo explained to the commission that camping is becoming more and more popular, and that Cozy Hills is a success.

“We’ve owned Cozy Hills since 2014, when we bought from an estate,” she said at the time. “We have taken pride and joy in it, but we only have 40 acres — we’re capped out, and we’ve already sold out for a number of weekends for 2022.”

The zoning regulation changes proposed by Campo and Mahieu follow national camping standards, they said, based on the National Fire Protection Association, which sets rules for the camping industry, the National Association for Campground Owners, and KOA, a national membership for campgrounds.

Specifically, Campo said, the current regulations call for over-sized campsites, which are not needed.

“The camper on a site in the regulations, 60 by 100 feet, would take up such a tiny amount of space, that more trees would have to be taken down (to comply),” she said. “Also, it’s become quite standard to have a few cabins for overnight stays, for people who don’t have tents or campers. Cottages are regulated and have to be a certain size, only 400 square feet. They have to qualify as an actual camper.”

That’s a prerequisite for campgrounds now, Campo explained. She estimated that the grounds would have between seven and eight sites per acre, with plenty of green space.

“The regulations also need to meet the intent of the use (of the proposed property) to never allow residences,” she said. “It’s short-stay holiday camping, not a resident-landlord-tenant situation.”