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Mich. Nudist Camp Expansion Rejected

September 14, 2007 by   - () Leave a Comment

The proposal to add RV parking at Spruce Hollow campground in Mesick, Mich., was rejected but the owners may not stop trying to expand the campground, according to the Cadillac News.
The owners of the private naturist club were seeking a special use permit to allow for camping on 10 adjacent acres and to allow up to 28 spaces for RV parking on the additional 10 acres and the existing 20 acres.
The original site was approved in 2000. Pat and Jan Bell, campground owners, made a similar request in 2003 that was denied. That denial was appealed to the Wexford County Zoning Board of Appeals, which upheld the denial, and later appealed in Wexford County Circuit Court, where the zoning board’s decision was affirmed.
Board member David Middaugh made the motion to deny the request, saying the plans were not harmonious with the surrounding residential and agricultural landscape.
“Harmonious is the key word,” Middaugh said. “To put something like this, where that kind of thing goes on, goes against the beliefs and character of the people who live around them, that is not harmonious.”
After the request was rejected, 4-2, Pat Bell questioned the board’s willingness to work with he and his wife.
“How can I work with the board when the board does not want to work with us,” Bell said to the board following the vote. “I can’t think of anybody more harmonious than we are.”
The planning board received several letters for and against the proposal and heard several people who spoke during the public hearing.
The Bells said they did not wish to comment further after the meeting, but did say they are considering filing a lawsuit to get the special use permit.
Board chairman Mike Solomon said he had concerns, saying the request was not harmonious with the surrounding area and told the board the issue they were voting on was allowing a campground to allow RV parking and not a vote on a nudist camp.
“So finding that it is not harmonious when the adjacent property is already approved as a campground, I have a personal conflict with that,” Solomon said.
The Bells have 15 days to appeal the decision.

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