[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry 8-16-1999 by Ord. No. 1-99-0215 (Ch. 8, Art. IX, of the 1991 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 255.
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide areas which are properly located and designed to accommodate the leisure time and vacation activities of seasonal campground residents utilizing tents, recreational trailers and similar vehicles intended for short-term residential occupancy. It is further intended to safeguard the health and safety of residents of seasonal trailer parks and their neighbors, to ensure compatibility with the natural environment and to ensure harmony with the character of the surrounding area.
It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation or entity to operate any campground within the limits of the Town of Coventry without first having obtained a permit, renewed annually by the Town Council, pursuant to §§ 113-6A or 113-7A of this chapter, as applicable. Existing nonprofit charitable organizations shall be exempt from the licensing provision of this chapter; however, standards of this chapter shall apply as determined to protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the campground and surrounding community and to maintain the intent of this chapter.
[Amended 3-23-2009 by Ord. No. 03-09-273]
An application fee as set forth in Chapter 122, Fees, shall be collected for the administration of the application. Such license shall expire on December 31 of each year.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
[Amended 9-24-2007 by Ord. No. 05-07-257; 11-23-2015 by Ord. No. 07-15-305]
No year-round residence shall be permitted in recreational trailer parks and/or campgrounds, except in the case of caretakers for the property, and except as provided hereafter. Recreational trailer parks and campgrounds shall only operate from April 15 to October 31. Year-round recreational camping may be permitted in recreational trailer parks and campgrounds at no greater than 20% of capacity if, in the discretion of the Town Council, such year-round camping will have no adverse effect upon the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the campground and surrounding community and will be otherwise consistent with the intent of this chapter.
Campgrounds shall not maintain any nuisances to the public health, safety or welfare of the residents of the campground or surrounding community relative to garbage and refuse, excessive noise, stagnant water holes, lighting or other conditions contrary to the intent of this chapter or other Town codes.
No building activity shall take place in the campground unless a building permit has been obtained from the Building Inspection Department of the Town of Coventry.
The owner or operator of the recreational trailer park or campground shall apply for a permit no later than 60 days prior to the expiration of the current permit, except for good cause shown to the Clerk.
Editor's Note: The vote taken on this ordinance on 9-24-2007 was nullified 1-28-2008 by Res. No. 4-08-2857 due to a technical error in its adoption. The ordinance was then revoted and duly adopted 1-28-2008.
Commercial campgrounds provide a valuable recreational, economic and open space resource to the Town of Coventry as recognized in the Recreation, Conservation and Open Space Element of the Coventry Comprehensive Plan. It is not the intent of this section to prohibit such existing facilities for failure to meet the standards for new facilities but to encourage and to promote quality recreational accommodations by ensuring that all existing facilities apply for and receive a permit from the Town Council, renewed annually; that the health, safety and welfare of the seasonal residents is protected; that year-round residency is prohibited in the campground except as set forth in this chapter; that permanent additions or structures to the recreational camper for additional living space, except as set forth in this chapter, is prohibited; and that the number of camp sites in existence for each campground be determined.
Application procedure for existing uses and facilities.
Applications for existing facilities, available from the Town Clerk, shall be accompanied with the following documentation:
A license from the State Health Department in accordance with R.I.G.L. Title 23, Chapter 21, as amended.
A letter from the district fire chief stating that outdoor fire prevention measures and policies of the campground are adequate.
A letter of compliance from the Health Department regarding the status of the drinking water supply.
Existing recreational trailer parks and campgrounds shall submit the recreational trailer park and campground application, available in the Town Clerk's office, 120 days after the passage of this chapter. Any facility owner or operator who fails to do so shall be fined in accordance with the provisions within the Code of the Town of Coventry.
Procedure for the expansion of existing facilities.
Proposed increase in the number of camp sites. Any proposed increase in the number of campsites will require the issuance of a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with Article 4, Section 470, of the Coventry Zoning Ordinance.
Proposed construction or expansion of ancillary or accessory uses, including but not limited to pool facilities, recreational buildings, camp store for convenience goods available to residents to the campground only, boat and bike rentals, clearing and construction for play or ballfields, shall require the issuance of a special use permit from the Zoning Board of Review in accordance with Article 4, Section 470, of the Coventry Zoning Ordinance.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any new recreational trailer park or campground within the limits of the Town unless the following permits have been obtained:
Approval of a land development project;
A license from the State Health Department in accordance with R.I.G.L. Title 23, Chapter 21, as amended;
A building permit from the Building Inspector;
An annual permit granted by the Town Council; and
A letter from the appropriate district fire chief approving implementation of necessary firesafety measures.
All applications for permits listed in Subsection A above shall contain the following information in addition to the submission requirements in Article 14 of the Zoning Ordinance, entitled "Land Development Projects":
Name and address of owner;
Name and address of applicant;
Name of corporation and all officers;
Location and legal description of the recreational trailer park or campground; and
Complete engineering plans and specifications of the proposed park or campground showing:
The area and dimensions of the tract of land;
The number, location and size of all recreational trailer or campground spaces;
The location and width of streets and walkways;
The location of service buildings, sanitary stations and any other proposed structures;
The location and area of required recreation areas;
The location of water and sewer lines and riser pipes;
Plans and specifications of the water supply, refuse and sewage disposal facilities;
Plans and specifications of all buildings constructed or to be constructed within the recreational trailer park or campground;
The location and details of lighting and electrical systems;
Location of underground storage tanks; and
Evidence of compliance with all appropriate state laws and regulations, particularly those dealing with licensing of recreational trailer camps, heating fuel tanks, sanitation, sewage disposal and water supply.
The following delineates the standards that shall be met in developing a new or expanded recreational trailer park or campground:
Minimum area: 40 acres.
Density: no greater than 25 recreational trailer spaces per acre.
Maximum units: 200 recreational trailer spaces or campsites. The maximum number of units may be increased if it is determined by the Town Council, in its respective review, that the modification is reasonable and within the general purposes and intent of the goals and regulations; that the modification of the maximum number of units is in the best interest of good planning practice; and that the particular conditions pertaining to the land under proposal is suitable for increased camp sites.
Area of each individual recreational trailer or campground space: 1,500 square feet minimum.
Frontage on a public street: as required for that zoning district.
Required separation between recreational trailers and campsites. Recreational trailers or campground sites shall be separated from each other by at least 30 feet which may be adjusted to reflect various settings within the campground (i.e., waterfront, wooded or field sites), provided that the width of the site is not less than 30 feet on the access road.
Required recreation area. In all recreational trailer parks and campgrounds there shall be recreation areas which shall be easily accessible from all units. The size of such recreation area shall be not less than 25% of the area of such park, usable for picnic areas, boat launches, beaches, recreation fields and the like, and not exclusively undevelopable wetland areas.
No permanent structures shall be constructed or erected onto a recreational trailer, including, but not limited to, breezeways, covered decks and porches except prefabricated screen tents or screened areas that are collapsed at the end of the season and do not require the issuance of a building permit.
Buffer from adjacent properties. A landscaped buffer strip shall be maintained along all exterior property lines of a recreational trailer park or campground. Such buffer strip shall be no less than 100 feet wide and shall be planted, screened or otherwise maintained in a natural condition in order to provide year-round visual obstruction of the recreational trailer spaces or campsites from abutting land and streets.
Internal street system. All recreational trailer parks and campgrounds shall be provided with safe and convenient vehicular access from abutting public streets. Each recreational trailer and campsite space shall have direct access to an interior street. Alignment and gradient shall be properly adapted to topography. Surfacing and maintenance shall provide a smooth, hard and dense surface which shall be well drained.
Access. Access to recreational trailer parks and campgrounds shall be designed to minimize congestion and hazards at their entrance or exit and allow free movement of traffic on adjacent streets. All traffic into or out of such parks shall be through such designated entrances and exits only.
Off-street parking and maneuvering space. Each recreational trailer park and campground shall provide sufficient parking and maneuvering space so that the parking, loading or maneuvering of recreational trailers shall not necessitate the use of any public street, sidewalk or right-of-way or land not part of the recreational trailer park or campground.
Water supply and sewage disposal. All requirements regarding supply of water and disposal of sewage in recreational trailer parks and campgrounds shall conform to all applicable laws and requirements of the State of Rhode Island, Department of Health and Department of Environmental Management.
The Town Council shall have the authority to waive or modify one or more of the requirements of this chapter if the Council finds that:
The waiver or modification is reasonable and within the general purposes and intents of these regulations; and
Literal enforcement of the regulations are impracticable and will exact undue hardship because of peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question; or waiver or modification of the regulations is in the best interest of good planning practice or design as evidenced by consistency with the Coventry Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance.