West OC Campground Granted Growth Allocation

SNOW HILL – A little less than two acres of Worcester County’s growth allocation in the Coastal Bays Critical Area has been awarded to Eagle’s Nest Campground for boat and RV storage.

Since the campground was taken over by developer John H. Burbage, business has increased and more storage is needed.

The 1.92-acre site, adjacent to the existing campground wastewater treatment plant, would encompass boat and RV storage, as well as a year-round caretaker’s cottage.

The county has 406.28 acres of growth allocation in the Coastal Bays Critical Area. When that amount of growth allocation has all been allocated, some time in the future, there will be no more available.

“This is not making a substantial dent in our growth allocation,” Ed Tudor, director of Development Review and Permitting, said.

The change moved the land from the Resource Conservation category to the Intensely Developed category.

Both the Worcester County Planning Commission and staff gave the allocation favorable recommendations.

Staff requested that a five-year limit be placed on the growth allocation award.

If the campground does not complete its planned changes to that land within five years, the county will take the growth allocation back, as it has done with two past allocations, Tudor said.

The campground has recently been renovated and upgraded, said Burbage’s attorney, Hugh Cropper.

“It’s now considered one of the top campgrounds in the country by several rating organizations,” Cropper said.

As a result, more boats and RVs have been brought on site.

Under Federal Emergency Management Agency rules, RVs must be moved every six months. Local zoning regulations also prevent the campground from operating year round. People who cannot come to get their RVs until the campground is closed may need to store the vehicles, and away from the bay edge.

“The storage area is located as remote as possible from the bay,” said Cropper.

The land is just inside the Critical Area line, adjacent to the wastewater treatment plant, which is not in the Critical Area. The site is also not in a high hazard area.

The new storage area and caretaker house will have as little environmental impact as possible, said Cropper.