When: East Lampeter Township supervisors meeting, Dec. 5.

What happened: Township officials heard an informal discussion on a zoning text amendment to allow “glamping” and add the definition of a historic farm property within the township’s agriculture zones. Supervisors did not take action, wanting to wait to hear input from Vice Chair Corey Meyer, who was absent.

Why it matters: The amendment request comes from the owner of 279 Strasburg Pike. East Lampeter desires to provide for new uses for iconic or historic agricultural properties that are valuable to its cultural identity, but those properties do not otherwise meet the criteria or definition of an operational farm. By meeting its overall goals of promoting tourism and education about historic farms, this amendment would allow the township flexibility as to what kind of repurposed uses of historic resources would be allowed within agricultural areas.

Definition: According to the draft text amendment, “glamping” is a “transient occupancy facility where guests occupy detached, semipermanent, upscale tent units or similar units, typically characterized by a fixed elevated foundation, running water, sewage disposal system, and other amenities but which are not a conventional hotel, motel, or cabin facilities and are not a bed-and-breakfast establishment, boarding house, campsite or campground,” as defined within the Township Ordinance. On-site food service and miniature produce gardening would be allowed.

Proposed provisions: Guests would not be allowed to stay at any glamping site for more than 30 consecutive days at a time in any 12-month period. The curfew for exterior glamping activities would be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. A land development plan on how glamping facilities would be used would have to be submitted to the township by the property owner. The property owner must also live on-site and be present during the operation. A maximum capacity of six people will be allowed in one glamping unit per acre. Chair John Blowers said glamping properties would be subjected to Act 537, which mandates the presence of sanitary waste facilities.

Another new term: The definition of a historic farm property would also be added. Historic farm properties located within the agricultural zoning district must be less than 10 acres and are ineligible to be designated as a farm or agricultural operation In accordance with the zoning ordinance, a historic resource such as a barn or storage building must be on the property.

Quotable: “I’m looking for what are ways we can have ag flexibility to our ag zone, and a residential zone so that folks can make a little side income and stay on a property and keep it in farming use,” Supervisor Ethan Demme said.

What’s next: The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at the township building.


published 2022-12-16 17:00:00