April 16, 2014

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Campground occupants get May 15 deadline

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — People living at Crystal Springs Campground have been given a reprieve.

Occupants of the Bagley Road campground received notices Monday afternoon informing them they now have until midnight May 15 to be off the property, which has been acquired by a Beachwood firm planning to expand an apartment complex on an adjacent property.

“This is a big stress reliever,” Urban Buescher Jr. said Monday afternoon after receiving the notice.

A Florida resident and retired National Park Service maintenance worker, Buescher had come to the North Ridgeville campground during the summer months for 11 years.

He planned to return to Florida over the winter, but medical problems including an abscessed tooth and hernia surgery led to his staying here.

He is the son of Urban Buescher, founder of the Buescher Hardware store in North Ridgeville, and brother-in-law to North Ridgeville Councilwoman Nancy Buescher.

The notice distributed to tenants Monday stated that the original April 5 deadline by which tenants were to be out of the campground has been extended to May 15.

Signed by Jeff Ondo, vice president of operations for Redwood Management Co., the notice said the extension had been granted out of consideration for tenants who said that they had paid rent money to a man who lived in the campground as an on-site manager.

Redwood did not receive any money from this person and had not authorized anyone to collect rent, the notice said.

“At this point we’re willing to give people the benefit of the doubt,” Michael D. Linn, the attorney representing Redwood, said Monday.

“People feel they’ve paid money in consideration for staying there and felt they were entitled to a little longer time in which to leave, and that’s OK by us,” Linn said.

The notice also informed tenants Redwood was not going to seek rent money from occupants.

Tenants were given five days to vacate the campgrounds via a letter dated April 1 after Redwood officials determined no one had a valid campsite user agreement, lease or other documentation, Linn said.

The notice concluded by saying anyone who remains in the campground past midnight May 15 will be deemed a trespasser and subject to immediate removal.

A couple of area campgrounds including American Wilderness Campground in Grafton have offered to make spaces available to Crystal Springs’ occupants, according to Urban Buescher.

American Wilderness officials could not be reached for comment.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.