ROMNEY, W.Va. — A proposed amendment to the Hampshire County Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance will impact all new public campsites and may be beneficial to the hotel-motel tax in the county.
“The main reason for this amendment is to ensure safety and sanitary issues with campgrounds,” Charlie Baker, code and compliance officer, said Wednesday.
Baker said that last year a couple of entities had camping taking place on their properties and stated they weren’t deemed campgrounds.
“We looked at the ordinance and it did pertain to their campgrounds,” Baker said.
In order to clarify the ordinance, Baker proposed the amendment to the Hampshire County Commission.
Article 3 of the amendment defines a campground as a tract of land established, maintained and offered to the public for payment, either for camping or any activity that may utilize camping as an accessory to the primary use for the location or placement of two or more camping units.
Camping units can be tents, camping vehicles, cabins or small vehicles or structures designed or intended to be used for camping purposes.
Any plot of land within a campground used or intended to be used for the location or placement of a camping unit is considered a campsite.
“Any event held on a plot of land that is open to the public and any kind of finances changes hands, even if it’s not an entry fee to the camp, falls under the ordinance,” Baker said.
Family reunions and lease agreements for things such as a hunting club that is open for deer season are exempt from the ordinance.
One of the issues Baker pointed out is safety.
“What happens in any of these situations, heaven forbid, if someone gets hurt? We have to be able to have access to the grounds,” Baker said.