SUNBURY — Spyglass Ridge Winery is allowed to continue camping during special events, as recently ordered by Northumberland County President Judge Charles Saylor.
Rockefeller Township sent Spyglass owners Tom and Tammy Webb an enforcement notice on May 21, 2021, requesting that all campers not owned by them be removed from the venue because they did not have residency permits.
The Webbs made a timely appeal to the community zoning hearing committee. A hearing was held on March 31, 2021, at which counsel for both parties made a mutual determination of the facts. On April 29, the board reconvened and dismissed the appeal.
The Webbs appealed to the Northumberland County of Common Pleas, saying the board’s decision breached common law, the Township Zoning Ordinance and Commonwealth law.
The Webbs said they have been providing campgrounds for 20 years and claimed they are being targeted by the community.
The municipality countered that mobile homes had never been compliant with the municipality’s zoning ordinance and that the Webbs had also increased the number and frequency of paid camping on the site.
Saylor dismissed the municipality’s writ of execution as imprudently issued because the facts presented to the court are that the Webbs are busy providing a venue on their trailer home property.
The community enforcement notice, Saylor continued, is based on someone operating a trailer park, which Saylor says is not factually supported by the established facts. A trailer camp under the zoning ordinance, the judge explained, would be a more permanent use of the land with campground development.
The distinction, Saylor noted, is recognized by the municipality having issued an ordinance titled “Special Event Campgrounds” to specifically regulate the use of properties for campers.