David Clark spoke to the White Lake Town Council Tuesday at their regular meeting.
The town of White Lake began a crackdown on non-compliant buildings, especially at campgrounds, after last month's town council meeting. The issue came up after a vote that effectively killed a proposed ten-unit campground behind the Scotchman Store.
Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Corbett said he would not vote in favor of any action on any campground until the town took steps to ensure all existing campgrounds were in compliance.
Public Works Director Tim Frush, who also acts as the town's code enforcement officer, began issuing warning and citations to owners of unapproved additions in town.
The town has around a dozen campgrounds, ranging from Camp Clearwater with several hundred sites to smaller sites with a handful of permanent campers.
Since the town began the crackdown, 'For Sale' signs are posted prominently at campers all around the lake.
In cooperation with the owners of Camp Clearwater, Clark said, Frush, Fire Chief Dale Brennan and Camp Manager Larry Barnhart have started a systematic inspection of every lot in the facility.
Violators are told of any problems, and advised to make the proper changes. Failure to make corrections can result in fines for the property owner, levied by the town.
Clark said non-compliant campers at Clearwater have 30 days to make corrections, or face removal from the campground.
"We will have every one of them in accordance with the town's rules," Clark said.
Clark said the changes have been "painful," but necessary.
"We may lose some campers," he said. "I may end up with some vacant lots-but that's how it has to be. With the improvements, I think things will look good enough that people won't be able to stay away from Camp Clearwater."
The campground already emphasizes safety and compliance with the zoning laws. Prominent yellow signs have been posted around the campground, and campers receive a handout about new buildings.
The handouts instruct campers to submit a drawing to Barnhart, and obtain the proper building and zoning permits from the town. The signs and handouts remind campers that compliance with local ordinances is mandatory.
"We are committed to being the leader in safety and compliance," Clark said. "I would not want one of our firefighters or rescue squads to be prevented from responding to an emergency...because something wasn't as it should be."
Mayor Goldston Womble thanked Clark for the campground's efforts.
"We appreciate your business being such a good member of the community," Womble said. "We know this has been painful for some folks. I for one hope no one will move out rather than make the changes they need to make."
Clark did ask the board to remain consistent on enforcing the laws.
"We can't start out doing this and not do it for everyone, or discontinue it on down the line," he said. "That wouldn't be fair to anyone."
Corbett also thanked Clark for the camp's stance and cooperation.
"You've set the bar on this," Corbett said. "I hope everyone will be as cooperative."
Clearwater has a number of permanent home-sites as well as overnight, seasonal and weekend camps.