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News for January 23, 2022

No More Campgrounds in Maggie Valley?

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North Carolina Town to Discuss Restricting Campgrounds, RV Parks

North Carolina‘s Maggie Valley will discuss restricting all RV parks and campgrounds. Alderman Jim Owens brought up the idea at his first board of aldermen meeting, citing strong public input as the firestarter.

“About a month ago, we had an election that drew the largest voter turnout in history, and the voters were both vocal and very engaged,” he started.

“And during the campaign, the most passionate and consistent appeal was ‘please no more campgrounds in Maggie Valley.’ We heard that loud and clear from so many of the people that were out voting during the campaign. We talked to dozens and dozens of people,” Owens shared at the December 7 agenda-setting meeting.

He urged the removal of campgrounds from the permissibility under C1 or C2 zoning. These are the only zoning options that allow campgrounds. Furthermore, he demanded that RV parks and campgrounds not be permitted under Planned Unit Developments within C1 and C2 zones.

The Town of Maggie Valley currently has no Unified Development Ordinance but is developing one and is planning to finish it within the coming year. No matter the final decision regarding campgrounds or RV parks at present, this issue will be discussed again when the town creates the UDO.

“At that point in time, when we look at the new master plan, we may be able to designate areas where they fit. But the constant input we got was no more campgrounds please, along the corridor [of Soco Road],” said Owens.

Alderman Phillip Wight protested the idea and said, “that blanket policy could hurt people in certain situations”.

Alderwoman Tammy Wight also expressed her concerns about banning campgrounds and RV parks.

“I realize that campgrounds can be an eyesore, but we’re also in the tourism department, we’re known for outdoors, hiking trails, and all the things that people come here to do, and campgrounds kinda fall into that category too. So what kind of message are we sending to the RV world and all those places?” she said.

Allen Alsbrook, a hotel owner in the town, tried to expand the topic by including “other things that clutter up the valley.” According to him, one of the biggest issues is RV storage. The board didn’t include storage for RVs or other “clutter” issues in the upcoming discussion.

The public hearing request and the direction to staff to write an amendment will be included on the agenda for the December 14 board of aldermen meeting. If the motion passes the meeting, the public hearing is scheduled for the board’s January meeting.

“This is also a great opportunity to really get to hear what people think about campgrounds because you’re calling for the public hearing,” said Clark.

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