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Thread: Campground minimum lot size

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Campground minimum lot size

    Anyone know of a typical minimum lot size for a campground?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    I've worked some, but define lot.

    Is that for an RV? or tent? or the entire parcel?

    Let me know and Ill look it up on the ones I worked with.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Have seen: entire parcel, 40 acres. Actual lot, 2000 s.f., larger if used for RV pull-throughs.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    I want to know what a typical minimum parcel size is for a new private campground development. I am working on a zoning ordinance for a client and they have some small undeveloped parcels( 0.5 acre to 4 acres) adjacent to extensive MDNR refuge lands on the coast of Lake Huron. These parcels would fall under a Natural Areas use district and we're trying to determine if these small parcels would be appropriate for campgrounds.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Originally posted by Alan
    I want to know what a typical minimum parcel size is for a new private campground development. I am working on a zoning ordinance for a client and they have some small undeveloped parcels( 0.5 acre to 4 acres) adjacent to extensive MDNR refuge lands on the coast of Lake Huron. These parcels would fall under a Natural Areas use district and we're trying to determine if these small parcels would be appropriate for campgrounds.
    Okay, I don’t know of a “rule” for that, but hey, I would think as long as few campsites fit it is beneficial to semi-public lake access.

    Personally I would not turn a campsite site down for being too small.

    Wish I could be more help, but this Q has left my “know zone”.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    There is a difference between a campsite and a campground. A mere site for a single user can be quite small. I would think that 3-4000 square feet is adequate, to provide adequate screening/buffering and have room for all of the uses. Commercial campgrounds are another matter.

    I wonder if the National Park Service, Forest Service, or Bureau of Land Management may have published planning guidance. Thinking back to the many of these campgrounds I have stayed in, I think the developed areas varied from about an acre (for maybe 6-10 sites) to over ten acres (for about 100 sites). Commercial uses will also have to determine how to handle restroom and shower facilities. Public campgrounds often use pits and wells. I am not sure you want to allow this on a small site. They will need a registration office, and may want to have a store associated with it. Access lanes have to be big enough for RV's driven by people who don't really know how to drive something that big, and of course, they will need a dumping station. I guess all of this leads me to think that a larger site - five or more acres - would be better than a small one.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    No numbers for you, but maybe a line of thought worth exploring.

    Please bare with me lots of analogies and ideas here. Hope it is clear.

    Maybe you could try having a sliding scale based on the type and number of units. We do this with high density residential (ie minimum lot area per du could be adapted to minimum lot area plus lot area per camp site.) If the units are to be non serviced, used primarily for tenting, each site would require X square feet. Serviced another level, drive/pull thru another level and so on. If it is legal in your jurisdiction you may also want to have campgrounds as conditional uses so that site plans and layouts are what gets a proposal approved. As an example, the property owner wil permit more public access to the lake and reduce the visual impact from the lake of the sites, maybe they should get more sites.

    As always, if I have time I'll go looking on the web. The tour will have most of my attention this week, but it is only updated about every 5 minutes.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Here are a few by-laws I found on the net, with lot sizes and development standards.


    See section 8

    http://www.co.goodhue.mn.us/zoningor.../article-8.htm

    See Section 430-25

    http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptm...035.doc#430-25
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Originally posted by donk
    Here are a few by-laws I found on the net, with lot sizes and development standards.


    See section 8

    http://www.co.goodhue.mn.us/zoningor.../article-8.htm

    See Section 430-25

    http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptm...035.doc#430-25
    Those are great links! So, if I do the math, I could hypothetically say that a campground must have a minimum of ten sites, each at a minimum of 2,000 square feet each, and must require all the facilities and infrastructure that is required by the Michigan Department of Public Health. If this is the case, then at a minimum, it looks like two acres could do for a campground. But that is way too small! Perhaps five acres is a logical, realistic minimum.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    We just went through this not too long ago, and typical in our county is 5 acres minimum requirement.
    Last edited by SW MI Planner; 21 Jul 2003 at 1:12 PM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    maybe the best way to look at it is 5 acres minimum for the first ten sites then 2000 square feet per site for each in excess of 10, plus other requirements with respect to licensing and health requirements.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  12. #12
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has a pretty good set of rules/standards on their website

    http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,1607,7...663---,00.html


    The MDEQ requires lots have a minimum of 15 feet of road frontgage and each site having 1200 sq ft.

    They also ouline lots of other things such as the minimum number of toilets, showers, etc.

    This website might be a good place to start.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Decided I'd resurrect this thread since some links are dead and we're currently evaluating the need for a campground conditional use in our county. Many informal camp grounds I'll call them, are popping up around the lake. Some of this need is due to infrastructure work being done on some power plants and the workers needing temporary housing, but living in a camper, that's a whole other issue. We don't define campground and have no restrictions so I was wondering a few things.

    Min size:
    Lot size needed per camper:
    Water, electric, sewer hookups? how do you handle these in permitting?
    How do you prevent permanent residents and apply new zoning regs to existing campgrounds that have this problem?

    Our goal is to prevent every farmer joe in this area with a few acres just renting out informal pieces of his land for campers and at least having some environmental and housing control on it.
    @GigCityPlanner

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Nice resurrection.

    Is there power and sanitation or not?

    My campground is about 80 acres and abutts state parklands.It has about 50 "seasonal" sites, meaning you pay an annual rent and never move your camper, and you get power and water provided. It also has about 50 tenting sites, which have to use latrines and a public shower. My campsite is about 3,000 square feet and is small for the facility.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahh.....

    Yeah....call them SPACES or SITES, not LOTS......unless they are to be sold as fee simple property? The number of spaces will determine the sewer needs, unless this happens to be in an urban area with public sewer avaialable. Campground zoning should require a facilities plan to identify sewer facilities, roads, camp sites and more.
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  16. #16
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    from my Land Use ordinance in Bar Harbor - they are also controlled by zoning district, that is, they aren't allowed everywhere -

    B. Cabins and cottages. Cabins and cottages shall be treated as transient accommodations; provided, however, that any lot containing cabins and cottages shall contain at least 20,000 square feet.
    C. Campgrounds. All site plans for proposed campground development shall demonstrate that:
    (1) The applicant has obtained all required state permits and licenses.
    (2) Each recreational vehicle, tent, or shelter site shall contain a minimum of 5,000 square feet of suitable land in shoreland areas and 2,500 square feet of suitable land in inland areas, not including driveways and roads, for each site. Land supporting wetland vegetation and land below the normal high water line of a water body shall not be included in calculating land area per site. [Amended 11-5-1991]
    (3) The area intended for placement of the recreational vehicle, tent or shelter site and utility and service buildings shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the exterior lot lines of the camping area, 100 feet from the normal high water line of a great pond classified GPA or a river flowing to a great pond classified GPA, and 75 feet from the normal high water line of a tributary stream, upland edge of a wetland or any other body of water. [Amended 11-5-1991]
    (4) The campground shall be screened from all abutting areas.
    (5) Each recreational vehicle, tent or shelter site shall be provided with a trash receptacle.

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