11/29/2012 1:29:00 PM Campgrounds permitted in R-1 zoning district
by Paul Martin
Concerned neighbors who oppose a proposed new campground came out in force for the Stanton Township board meeting on November 20.
Dave Lorentz has proposed a Zoning Amendment which would add "Campground/RV site" as an allowable use in the R-1 Zoning District, as it is in the A-3 Zone. This was the procedure agreed among Lorentz, his attorneys and the Planning Advisory Committee to advance his plan to start a campground on land he owns next to the county park on Hwy. 19. The land was formerly occupied by Spring Garden Nursery.
Board Chair Vince Cockriel stated three things firmly. The first was that he had no prior knowledge of Lorentz before the proposal was made, and was therefore impartial in his approach. The second was his own qualifications in the area of parks. He graduated from Park Design schools in West Virginia and Colorado Springs, and has recently retired from a 35-year career in a major Twin Cities park system. The last was the nature of the meeting.
"This is not a public hearing," he said, "as that was held last week. This is purely a question of whether camping is a suitable use in this area, west of Hwy. 52 and east of Hwy. 56."
Some of the audience did not realize that Lorentz would still have to apply for a Conditional Use Permit for his particular property, even if this zoning change was approved.
Cockriel spoke in favor of the change. "Every concern I heard Tuesday night [at the PAC meeting] can be dealt with if people cooperate," he said. "We can make it a benefit for all if it is done right, with careful planning. People can't complain if they buy property next to a county park and think it will remain undeveloped. County land will always be developed eventually."
Vice-Chair Bob Benson, himself a neighbor of Lorentz' property, was against the change.
"I was on the zoning committee when the nursery went in," he said, "and the agreement was that it would stay as agricultural use." Lorentz had quoted the Boy Scout campground to support the zoning change, but Benson countered "The Scout Camp is a private, non-profit camp, which is not the same thing."
Supervisor John Miller spoke in favor of the change, and the vote was in favor by 2 to 1. Now that the township ordinance has been changed, the way is open for Lorentz to apply for a permit to open a campground on his property in the usual way. That will be the subject of separate meetings.
In other planning decisions, Dan Lee was granted permission to bore under Sciota Trail.
Darla Burdick was given permission for a small addition to the rear of her farmhouse.
George Modrak was allowed a variance to allow a 60 x 96-foot pole shed for family horse riding on his property on Hwy. 24. This is about three times the usually permitted square footage. The building will be screened from the road.
Vince Cockriel was given a zoning certificate to allow a 28 x 48-foot machine shed.
Treasurer and Clerk Reports
Clerk Cheryle Peters reported on a successful election day. As usual, the township turned out to vote in large numbers. 706 electors were pre-registered, and 91 were added on the day. 661 votes were cast in all.
The engineer's invoice for the redesign of the bridge on 30th Avenue, following the decision to build a bridge rather than use culverts, came to $2,500. Replacement of the old bridge is set for 2013.
Treasurer Jennifer Ritzman reported receipts of $47,742.37 and disbursements of $9,502.97. Liquid cash is now $228,186.65, and investments $63,658.49. $45,533.53 of the receipts came from the FEMA claim following the June floods. All projects are completed, and just over $1,000 of the total claim remains to be received from the State.
John Krantz has prepared a revised list of all the roads in the township, and suggested a more efficient way to set out the road report forms. He also prepared a sequence plan for plowing after a snowfall. Dave Garner reminded him and the board of the agreement to start the second pass of the plow on the east end of the Township.
Sciota Township accepted responsibility for the "Phantom Roadgrader." They made good the damage, and sent a check for $500.