Huntington to Repeal ‘Glam Camping’ Law
By Chris O’Neill
The Huntington Town Board voted on May 10th to schedule a June public hearing to end permission for day campgrounds to offer overnight 'glamping.'
Glamping is a term invented by certain campgrounds to describe “motel-like” tent accommodations, with semi-permanent, standing-room fixed tents, real beds, kitchens, hot and cold water, electricity, showers - and all of the amenities of an open-air hotel. The term is a contraction of the words “glamorous” and “camping.”
The Usdan Summer Camp in Melville filed a proposal before the Huntington Zoning Board to make overnight 'glamping' permanent. Huntington had passed a Covid-era law that waived many of the normal restrictions on day camp facilities like Usdan.
But an outpouring of community concern about the possible negative effects of glamping at the Usdan site has spurred the effort to repeal the Covid-era waivers, and re-impose normal safety and zoning restrictions on day camp facilities.
Concerns by residents include potential alcohol or drug-induced boisterous behavior, campfires in the woods at night, the possibility of criminals or sex offenders lodging in the woods behind local homes, and difficulty in night access by the fire department, in cases of emergencies.
“A lot of my neighbors are worried about the safety of the neighborhood,” stated Mark Zablocki who lives near to the Usdan site. “I hope the issue resolves to everyone’s satisfaction.”
Residents were also worried about the impact on local property values, of hundreds of people effectively living in the woods.
Usdan wanted the revenue from ‘glamping’ to support its programs and had applied to be allowed to use up to 70 tent sites.
The hearing to finally decide the issue is scheduled for the June 14th Town Board meeting.
Glamping opponents at Tuesday’s board meeting thanked town officials for moving toward lifting the amendment that would have allowed the extra camping. The issue had been pending before the Zoning Board of Appeals.