Steuben County approves Circle B expansion of campground

February 25th, 2016

News Coverage:

February 24, 2016

Steuben County approves Circle B expansion of campground

Jennifer Decker

HOGBACK LAKE — A campground owner has been given approval to add 73 additional sites.
The Steuben County Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously granted a special exception to Dave Benson, owner of Circle B RV Park and Cabins on Hogback Lake, at the Feb. 16 meeting.

Circle B, 5251 U.S. 20, has existed and been in his family since 1964, Benson said. It currently has 350 camp sites on some 65 acres. Even though it offers year-round camping, his main season runs April 1-Nov. 1.

Steuben County Plan Director Frank Charlton said a special exception is needed because part of Benson’s land he wants to expand upon is zoned manufactured homes.

“(Benson) came in and asked for the expansion. It was granted,” Charlton said. “Adding 73 campsites is permitted with a special exception on manufactured homes.”

Benson said he was glad in receiving the special exception.

“My park is pretty well regarded. We’re pleased. The park is low impact on the watershed. The park adds a lot of commerce to the county with people shopping,” Benson said. “It’s been rewarding.”

Charlton said portions of Benson’s land is in three different zonings: agriculture, environmental control and manufactured homes.

The county’s manufactured homes special exception ordinance has requirements Charlton said Benson has met or exceeded: a minimum of 5 acres and Benson has 21 acres; 2,500-square-foot lots with modern restroom accommodations; water, sewer and electricity on each lot; a 100 foot minimum front yard setback from U.S. 20; minimum side yard and rear yard setbacks of 75 feet each, Benson has 200 feet and 300 feet; and a buffer zone of 25 feet between the parking lot and residential.

“It also says anyone can’t stay there permanently, more than 180 days,” Charlton said.

Many Circle B neighbors voiced opposition to the expansion. Concerns were expressed about about having 73 more people on Hogback Lake, mowing of campsites, potential noise and campfire smoke. Benson addressed all the concerns.

Benson said it’s too late in the year to have any campground expansion ready for the peak summer season. He plans to first install a new $300,000 sewer system for the added sites.

“It will be late to start this year,” Benson said. “We will focus on it this fall.”